Arts

Alice Cooper discovers Andy Warhol print lost for more than 40 years

Rock star Alice Cooper said he discovered an Andy Warhol print that was bought by his former girlfriend more than 40 years ago “rolled up in a tube” in the singer’s storage locker.

The print, “Little Electric Chair,” was a component in Warhol’s “Death and Disaster series,” according to The Guardian. Cooper, whose birth name is Vincent Damon Furnier, was friends with Warhol in the 1970s. The two met when the “School’s Out” singer moved to New York City with his girlfriend, Cindy Lang.

“Andy was kind of a groupie...” Shep Gordon, Cooper’s manager, told The Guardian. “...So they started a relationship, and they loved to hang out.”

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Lang bought the print from the “pop art” artist for $2,500, Gordon said.

“At the time Alice is making two albums a year and touring the rest of the time,” Gordon said. “It was a rock ‘n’ roll time, none of us thought about anything. He ends up going into an insane asylum for his drinking and then leaves New York for LA.”

Cooper told Gordon he recalled talking to Warhol about the painting but cannot remember if the conversation actually occurred. Lang gave the print to Gordon, and it was put in storage.

Gordon said he remembered the print after he met an art dealer and brought up the print. The dealer told Gordon that the “Little Electric Chair” could be worth millions after the same print was bought for $11.6 million at an auction in 2015.  

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It is unclear how much Cooper’s print is worth since it is unsigned, lowering its value, Richard Polsky, an Andy Warhol expert said. But Polsky is certain the print is authentic.

“I’m 100 percent [sure],” 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?”

Gordon said Cooper refused to hang the print since it is so valuable but he was shocked at the price of the piece when he found out.

"You should have seen Alice’s face when Richard Polsky's estimate came in," Gordon said. "His jaw dropped and he looked at me: 'Are you serious? I own that!'