US rock musician Alice Cooper has found a classic Andy Warhol artwork rolled up in storage after more than 40 years tucked away alongside tour equipment.
The singer had forgotten about the work, entitled Little Electric Chair, presented as a gift in the 1970s.
“It was a rock ‘n’ roll time, none of us thought about anything,” Cooper’s long-time manager, Shep Gordon, said.
A similar version of the Warhol artwork sold at Christie’s in New York in 2014 for $10.5m (£8m).
Cooper’s find, a red silkscreen on canvas, was part of Warhol’s Death and Disaster series and was discovered “rolled up in a tube” in a locker along with a collection of 1970s stage props, the Guardian reports.
It was the decade that Cooper and Warhol met and became friends. “It was all a swirl of drugs and drinking,” said Mr Gordon, who has been the singer’s manager for more than four decades.
Cooper, real name Vincent Furnier, moved to New York with his late girlfriend Cindy Lang. They were introduced to Warhol in New York’s famed Studio 54 nightclub, according to Mr Gordon.
Ms Lang, who appeared on the cover of Warhol’s magazine Interview, later asked Mr Gordon to purchase the work on her behalf for about $2,500 as she planned to present it to Cooper as a birthday gift.
“Alice says he remembers having a conversation with Warhol about the picture. He thinks the conversation was real, but he couldn’t put his hand on a Bible and say that it was,” Mr Gordon told the Guardian.
Having partially recalled his conversation with the artist, Cooper began to suspect that he may be in possession of something big, and set about trying to remember more.
But it was Cooper’s mother who finally shed light on the whereabouts of the contemporary piece.
“We spoke to Alice’s mother who said she thought it was probably still in storage,” Mr Gordon told CNN, adding that it took about six months to go through the items in storage – which included a mock electric chair – before finding it.
Mr Gordon said that back in the early 1970s the painting was not considered particularly valuable. “Andy Warhol was not ‘Andy Warhol’ back then,” he said.
The work has been confirmed as authentic by Warhol expert Richard Polsky.
“You should have seen Alice’s face when Richard Polsky’s estimate came in,” Mr Gordon said, adding: “His jaw dropped and he looked at me: ‘Are you serious? I own that!'”
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