He forgot about it in a "swirl of drugs and drinking".
An original Andy Warhol artwork owned by Alice Cooper has been rediscovered after it was rolled up in a tube and placed in a storage locker for over 40 years.
- Exclusive NME offer: Save £10 on Amazon Music Unlimited plans with code NME10
The piece is a red silkscreen from Warhol’s Little Electric Chair series, and it was rediscovered after being placed into storage alongside artefacts from Cooper’s 1970 stage show – including a mock electric chair.
The artwork was originally gifted to the singer by then girlfriend Cindy Lang who purchased it for $2,500, but it soon entered the singer’s touring collection and he, by his own admission, forgot about it in a “swirl of drugs and drinking”.
But it was Cooper’s manager, Shep Gordon, who eventually rediscovered the painting after he had dinner with an art dealer who told him of the huge sums that Warhol works regularly attract at auction.
He told The Guardian: “Alice’s mother remembered it going into storage. So we went and found it rolled up in a tube.”
Gordon also took the painting to Richard Polsky, a Warhol expert who is assured of its authenticity and dated the artwork back to 1964 or 1965.
““I’m 100%,” Polsky said.
“It looks right, and the story just makes too much sense. It’s hard to appreciate how little Warhol’s art was worth at the time. Twenty-five hundred was the going rate at the time. Why would Andy give him a fake? He had plenty of electric chairs. They were not an easy sell. They weren’t decorative in the conventional sense. It’s a brutal image.”
Now, Cooper is planning to hang the painting in his home when he finishes touring at the end of the year.
“You should have seen Alice’s face when Richard Polsky’s estimate came in. His jaw dropped and he looked at me”, Gordon added.
“‘Are you serious? I own that!’”