This Alex Guofeng Cao chromogenic print with dibond may be Cao’s homage to the notion of memento mori, which in latin means “Remember you will die.”
Triple Elvis was created in 1963 by Andy Warhol. The image was taken from a publicity still from the 1960 film Flaming Star, and was reproduced by Warhol during a period when he was transitioning from a rubber-stamp method of creating multiple images to screen printing. Flaming Star was regarded by movie critics as one of Elvis’ best performances in a dramatic role.
On June 3rd, 1968, Valerie Solanas attempted to assassinate Warhol at The Factory. After being declared clinically dead and a five hour surgery, Warhol miraculously survived. After this event, Warhol became obsessed with death. He took a ten year period off from self-portraiture, reemerging in 1978 with Self-portrait with a Skull.
The gun pointed towards the viewer in Triple Elvis and the human skull atop Warhol’s head in Self-portrait with a Skull are two not so subtle symbols that death is coming for us all.
About the artist:
Originally from China, Alex Guofeng Cao is an established photographer now based in New York. He credits photography greats such as Avedon, Weston, and Mapplethorpe for inciting his passion for photography and artistic experimentation.
His preferred medium is black-and-white, saying that it is only the colors of this spectrum that he needs to create his world. With exhibitions in galleries and museums around the world, Cao’s work has quickly resonated within the collecting world.
By juxtaposing two iconic images, Cao encodes greater meaning into familiar images of pop icons and masterworks. Cao has exhibited at prestigious shows such as Art Basel in both Switzerland and Miami Beach; Scope Basel and Scope Miami, ArtHamptons and more. His work has also been featured in prominent publications such as the LA Times, Haute Living, the Boston Herald, Art in America, The Miami Herald, and more.