36″ x 48″
Acrylic on canvas
The motif that characterizes my most recent works; finding a personal way to interpret Elvis Presley in my art. My inspiration for this painting came from The lyrics of the song “If I can dream” and its connection to the “I have a dream” speech by Martin Luther King coupled with the election of President Barack Obama. FACT: Elvis could recite Martin Luther King’s famous “I have a dream” speech word for word (this detail told to me by people close to Elvis). Elvis was devastated by the king’s death. Elvis talked with songwriter Earl W. Brown who also was influenced and inspired by Martin Luther King’s speech, so together he and Elvis collaborated on a song that would incorporate King’s message. They set out to capture his message of peace and understanding, no matter our race, color, or creed, and “If I Can Dream” was born. The song was performed on the NBC 1968 Christmas television special. Colonel Parker (Elvis manager) was not in favor of the song being in the special or Elvis’ & Earl’s collaboration but Elvis thankfully persevered. The song changed Elvis’ whole musical outlook. He said afterward he wouldn’t sing another song he didn’t believe in. If I Can Dream became a top 20 hit (#12) The television show (known today as the ’68 comeback special) revitalized Elvis’s musical career. In my painting I include President John F. Kennedy to represent his influence as a civil rights leader. These three iconic men transcend boundaries of geography, race, and gender, they are truly world figures.