To Elvis with Love


Paint, collage and hair on board

35.9 x 30.2 cm (14 1/8 x 11 7/8 in.)

To Elvis with Love is the disturbing portrait of a pale man, with a mutilated face, streaked with blood. The face, painted and topped with human hair, is disfigured by a central collage depicting The Machine, the original instrument created by Llyn Foulkes. The reference to music is particularly significant in the ostentatious phrase “To Elvis with Love”, which is also the title of the work.

For Llyn Foulkes, music is as important as visual art. After playing in several groups, between 1977 and 1979, Foulkes created a machine that enabled him to play all the instruments on his own. For the American artist, music and painting are very closely associated, though he appreciates the much wider freedom offered by music and its immediate connection with the public.

An ode to music marked by his fascination with the macabre, Llyn Foulkes’ painting To Elvis with Love belongs to the Pinault Collection. The work was first shown at the 2013 “Prima Materia” (“Raw Material”) exhibition at the Punta della Dogana.