D E N V E R , C O L O R A D O P O L I C E O F F I C E H Q - 1 9 7 0
S E R I E S : " P I G P O R T R A I T S " | 2 0 0 7
'Pig Portraits' depicted "anti-celebrity" portraits. This collection featured mugshots capturing well-known individuals during their least dignified moments: visibly embarrassed, clutching black name boards, and sometimes under the influence of substances. Among the displayed images were those of Frank Sinatra, 23 years old when arrested in 1938 for seduction; actress Jane Fonda; singer Jimi Hendrix; and Sid Vicious (from the band Sex Pistols). While these mugshots were authentic records from different police departments, not all were entirely genuine. For instance, an Elvis Presley mugshot (from 'Pig Portraits') was discovered online without credits. In November 1970, Elvis took a commercial flight to Denver, Colorado, to collect an honorary police badge for donating to the construction of a gym. Elvis was not arrested but rather taking a photo for his badge. From the Little Rock Ski Club : In one of their newsletters, there is mention of Elvis: 'Perhaps the most exciting early trip was to Vail in 1969 or 70. The flight originated in Memphis and on board waiting for us was none other than the King himself – Elvis! The first thing he did was to get on the intercom and sing Love Me Tender to the passengers. Then he made a trip through the cabin making a brief stop, talking to everyone, most of whom were ski club members. It was truly memorable and I have always admired him for his down to earth way of treating us on that day'. Presented as large-scale silkscreens, these enlarged, black-and-white, low-resolution close-ups set against vibrant backdrops marked a significant departure from Young's prior artistic endeavors. These earlier works had been instrumental in establishing the artist's success in the United States. Regardless of the authenticity of each image, Young effectively drew attention to the less glamorous aspects of celebrity life.