I was pleased to see this announcement on Graceland.com. Joe Petruccio’s paintings of Elvis have been famous for over a decade, and his enormous body of work now numbers in the thousands. The website cites a quote by Elvis’ good friend Jerry Schilling: “Joe Petruccio has a unique ability to capture the essence of an individual like no other artist today.”
So, I eagerly clicked on the link to see the artwork and what the costs are. We’ll take a look at all of them, and then veer off on some tangents about Joe Petruccio’s other Elvis paintings.
Let’s start with the largest and most expensive item in this new offering — $1,495. The canvas print measures 30” x 40”, and the framed image is 40” x 50”. This is a new offering for Elvis Week 2016, and there are only twenty-five of this limited edition available. I’d be surprised if they don’t sell out. Joe Petruccio had this to say about the inspiration for his creation:
“I tried to depict the last moment we got to see Elvis on stage as he walked off, and the last of the bright lights bathed the back of his beautiful figure as he walked into the darkness of the night. Just Pretend is Elvis saying to us, ‘Just pretend this wasn’t the last time you got to see me.’”
In case you are curious, Elvis’ last concert was in the Indianapolis Market Square Arena on June 26, 1977.
This is the least expensive offering at $20, and there does not seem to be any limited quantity available. It is unframed and measures 11” x 14”. Although this seems like a modest offering, the website gushes with praise: “This portrait style art print captures the statuesque and soulful brilliance of the King’s castle via Joe’s signature techniques—subtle contrasts and surface styles, amazing depth and an understanding of highlights and line placement like no other.”
If you are wondering about the “portrait” reference for a painting of a building, Joe Petruccio explains it as follows:
“I love painting portraits. That is my ‘thing.’ But there is something about the Graceland mansion that inspired me to paint it. So I decided, if I was going to paint it, it would be a portrait. A portrait of the home of a man I admire and adore. Like the lights that lit its owner as he took the stage, I would paint Graceland basking in that same light. Even though it’s painted in black and white, I love how you can feel the warmth of the sun and his light shining on this amazing treasure.”
I’m not too excited about this one. The four pictures are inside a 9” x 12” box, so they are really small. Overall size with matt and frame is 20” x18”. However, this is an Elvis Week 2016 limited edition of just fifty-six, and it costs $480, so Graceland and Joe Petruccio think highly of it. He has a nice explanation for the title Really Big Show.
“I thought I’d pay homage to the first time Elvis was on the Ed Sullivan Show. It was 60 years ago. What a night. I thought I’d combine my advertising background and recreate that moment in a storyboard. It’s the way I design TV commercials before I actually shoot them. Here is the first piece I’ve done in fine art that combines my passions. Painting, advertising, and Elvis.”
I just love this one. You know an artist is good if he can paint only someone’s eyes and we instantly recognize who it is. The print measures 12” x 25”, the framed image is 22” x 32”. It sells for $495, and the quantity is not limited, so they will sell lots of this one. Joe Petruccio had this to say about it.
“During the years that I’ve been drawing and painting Elvis, the one thing that becomes evident is that the magic is in his eyes. As a matter of fact, I was sure that if you just saw his eyes you would know who he is. This is one of my personal favorites.”
Here’s another look at Graceland, but this time it includes Elvis and there is some color in it. The 18” x 12” print is presented in a matted frame measuring 28” x 22”. It is an Elvis Week 2015 limited edition, and the last fifty-seven pieces sell for $475. Joe Petruccio has an interesting take on what this painting represents.
“There are often times I look at the house sitting there so big and lonely, and it’s kind of sad to me. It was a house filled with song, love, laughter and all of the other things that fill our own homes. I can’t help but picture Elvis standing outside the door, just wondering what it would be like to be on the other side of that big wall around Graceland. This painting is how I picture this moment. Is Elvis welcoming us into his house? Or is he welcoming us into the world he created by being so idyllic?”
I’m no art critic, but I don’t get the presentation of this one. The print of a raw sketch measures just 9” x 9” inside a 21” square frame. It is an Elvis Week 2015 edition and only 25 are available at a cost of $295. Here’s what the artist had to say about it:
“It’s called Unfinished Symphony because it is a metaphor for his unfinished life. All of my paintings usually start with sketches like this. This one never went further. I felt there was such emotion in his eyes and the lines of the drawing had such power, that I felt this was done as ‘Unfinished’ as it was. Sometimes in art, less is more. In a drawing and in a life.”
This is some really cool artwork, but it doesn’t say Elvis to me. When I see white bucks, I think of Pat Boone. Why not some blue suede shoes? I do love the way it is presented. It is called a gallery wrap canvas print, so it has depth without a frame. It measures 11” x14” x 2”. His First Step was unveiled at the 2014 Elvis Week, and there are just 15 copies left at a price of $650. Joe Petruccio explained his thinking on the white bucks:
“I wanted to do something to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of Rock ‘n Roll as special as I did for the 50th. Every huge accomplishment, discovery, or invention all started by someone taking a first step. So, I thought, what better shoes to show taking that first step into a whole new generation and style of music. I wonder if Elvis ever imagined just how far those white bucks would travel. 60 years and they still look brand new.”
The Graceland.com website contains a great deal of information on each of these pieces of art. Click here to read more – and place an order if you are motivated.
Joe Petruccio’s artwork has been mentioned on ElvisBlog seven times over the years. Here’s a quick look.
This image appeared in a November 2008 post on Graceland Cellars wine. It is a bottle of 2005 Limited Production Cabernet Sauvignon. That Joe Petruccio Elvis image is actually etched on the bottle. The wine sold for $119.99.
This appeared in a July 2010 article on the 12 Days of Christmas in July from ShopElvis.com. The 20’ x 16” poster is titled Love Me Tender. I wasn’t real crazy about it because it was pink and looked washed-out, but for just $11, it figured to sell well with the ladies.
This T-shirt image appeared in a September 2010 ElvisBlog post on Ladies Tees. It is titled Elvis Heartbreak. The Joe Petruccio artwork is from Elvis’ first 1969 concert appearance in Las Vegas as he returned to live performing. The shirt is accented with Swarovski Crystals. They must be pretty special, because the price for this T-shirt was $130.
The June 2011 ElvisBlog T-shirt review included two Joe Petruccio designs. This one titled King Me shows his skill in painting Elvis’ eyes. It’s quite an achievement to depict just a portion of Elvis’ face and have it instantly recognized. I really like this shirt.
The second shirt was a ladies model titled Stars and Bars. Seems like a strange name because there are no stars in the image. Both of these Joe Petruccio design shirts sold for $25.
Another Ladies Tee, this time from a June 2012 ElvisBlog article. It is titled Star and contains three strong elements: black leather, a guitar, and Elvis. The website at T-Shirts.com said there was another image on the reverse side but didn’t show it. I wonder if it was more Joe Petruccio.
In a May 2016 ElvisBlog post, I included a tank top in the T-shirt review. It is called Rock and Roll Racerback Tank, and believe it or not, it originally sold for $120, but was on sale for $18.97. The original price was because it was created by fashion designer Susan Fixel, and it featured original artwork by Joe Petruccio and hand-applied crystals. The drop to the low discount price was because the only size left was X-small.
If you would like to see an extensive display of Joe Petruccio’s Elvis artworks, go to JoePetruccio.com. Click on “The King” at the top of the Home Page. This is not a site where you can buy them. For that, you can try www.ShopElvis.com.
By all means, be sure to check out www.MyElvisJournal.com. Joe Petruccio started it on August 17, 2012. Here is how he explains it:
“I wanted to do something special this 35th year after his passing. So, I created this journal. This is My Elvis Journal where I will create a year in the life of the king by revisiting his life a day at a time. I hope you enjoy it and whatever that special date you hold so dear.”
Here are the first few entries:
How amazing is it that Joe Petruccio could turn out new paintings like these day after day. Unfortunately, the effort paused after four months, but it did come back for two more months in 2014. I hope he will someday be able to complete the project and give us 365 of these wonderful images.
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