ELVIS’ GOLDEN CARICATURES VOLUME 2 is the second volume of caricatures of Presley shakin’ an’ rattlin’ an’ rockin’ an’ rollin’ the ’50s! Like the first volume, this collects fifteen images of the singer/actor in his youthful prime. There are fourteen images in the main gallery, and there is the featured image found at the top of the page and below the gallery.
For more information on caricatures and this project, refer to the first volume of this series of articles. I have alternated black and white pieces with colored below, and they are in roughly chronological order.
Each image had the artist’s name beneath it. Each name—and many are first names only followed by the last name’s initial—is hyperlinked to a page that will give you more information on the artist.
Hope you enjoy seeing these images as much as I did finding them …
Artist: Dan S
This pencil drawing is based on photos of Elvis taken around the time he was making Love Me Tender. Note the wildly exaggerated eye make-up, something that he wore during the filming and used on stage afterwards. The artist’s use of hatching-like vertical strokes in the background both softens the figure’s outline while adding weight to the image.
Artist: Julio Ibarra
This highly exaggerated close-up stresses Presley’s cheeks and jaw in an engaging, cartoonish manner. Note the nose, which looks like Elvis has been in one too many fights and had it broken and reset several times.
This is a fairly sober and sedate image of Elvis, and one of the few caricatures that I found that pays attention to the fact that Elvis always paid attention to the making of his music. At least until the mid-’60s, when the movie-making machine had turned each soundtrack session into an event that was a something to survive rather than take joy in …
Artist: Johannes Saurer
Another playful image, this time taken from Presley’s appearance on the Milton Berle Show on June 5, 1956. This was the version of Hound Dog that started critics across the country to take notice of the young singer with the mobile hips.
Artist: Miguel A
This drawing could be of Elvis from any time in the ’50s. Miguel A’s style seems a combination of Mexican pop artists and Mad magazine with a touch of underground comix of the early ’70s (especially Skip Williamson).
Artist: Benjamin Strobel
This is another relatively sedate rendering of Elvis: I can’t place the artist’s inspiration it in time—it may even be from the early ’60s.
Artist: Omar Momani
This drawing is more cartoon than caricature: this version of Elvis would not be out-of-place on an episode of The Simpsons! Nonetheless, it’s too damn goofily likable not to include.
The filigree-like design of Presley’s collar is actually the artist’s name.
Artist: Joan Vizcarra
This rather gross likeness was inspired by the first publicity photos that RCA Victor took of their new artist. It happened on December 1, 1955, when Presley and Parker went to New York to sign and meet their new bosses.
Elvis was photographed in a variety of settings, including with his guitar in the recording studio. Elvis didn’t actually record a word for Victor until January 10, 1956, when he cut I Got A Woman, Heartbreak Hotel, and Money Honey.
I couldn’t find an artist credit for this image, one of my faveravest of these caricatures. The artist exaggerated aspects of childishness in Elvis’s features, making this a rather endearing image. It was inspired by Presley’s appearance on the Milton Berle Show on June 5, 1956.
Artist: Tony Araujo
Presley’s dance scene from Jailhouse Rock (1957) caught the attention of quite a few caricaturists, and I have selected several for this volume. This nifty gray-toned piece is slightly photorealistic.
Artist: Alberto “Sting” Russo
Sting Russo (above) and Jota Leal (below) are perhaps the best artists devoting more than a few hours to imaging Elvis Presley in their caricature work. The image above is timeless (1956? ’57? ’62?)—and I love the bold black strokes that imitate a shirt! (This is my second Sting image; there is also one in the first volume of these caricatures.)
Artist: Jota Leal
Great drawing capturing an intense artist. This also seems inspired by the December 1, 1955, photo shoot in New York: the haircut and the guitar are my clues. (This is my second Leal image; there is also one in the first volume of these caricatures.)
Artist: Ken Robert Hansen
I thought I would end this gallery section with another image of Elvis dancing to the Jailhouse Rock.
FEATURED IMAGE: I could not find a credit for this fabulous Hirschbergian vision of what appears to be a young Elvis Presley. Please note that I had to take liberties with the colors and the tone of this art to make it appropriate for the header image at the top of the page: primarily, it had to be darkened to allow better readability of the white letters of this post’s title.
POSTSCRIPTUALLY, I have planned four volumes of caricatures of Elvis in the ’50s, and two each for the ’60s and the ’70s. There are at least two artists who have done enough high-quality caricatures of Presley to merit a volume of their own, Al Hirschfeld and Alberto “Sting” Russo. Here are links to the volumes:
The First Published Caricature of Elvis Presley
Elvis’ Golden Caricatures Volume 1 (Rockin’ the 50s)
Elvis’ Golden Caricatures Volume 2 (Rollin’ the 50s)
Elvis’ Golden Caricatures Volume 3 (Rattlin’ the 50s)
Elvis’ Golden Caricatures Volume 4 (Shaggin’ the 50s)
Elvis’ Golden Caricatures Volume 5 (Stuck on the 60s)
Elvis’ Golden Caricatures Volume 6 (Wild in the 60s)
Elvis’ Golden Caricatures Volume 7 (Elvis by Hirschfeld)
Elvis’ Golden Caricatures Volume 8 (Love Letters from the 70s)
Elvis’ Golden Caricatures Volume 9 (Aloha from the 70)
Elvis’ Golden Caricatures Volume 10 (Elvis by Russo)