Swansong exhibition for Elvis artist

EXHIBITION: Artist Malcolm Stead who is staging his latest display of Elvis portraits adds finishing touches

Swansong exhibition for Elvis artist

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

IT'S now or never for fans of Bingley artist Malcolm Stead who is holding his final exhibition after more than half a century of painting Elvis Presley portraits.

Mr Stead, 74, began painting the rock 'n' roller in the late 1950s and continued in the decades after his death.

The wealth of Elvis photographs means Mr Stead, of Warren Lane, Eldwick, has never been short of subject matter even though the King has been dead since 1977.

Some of the paintings going on show at Shipley Library were produced in the last couple of years, but others date from earlier in his career.

The show will run for two weeks and also features evocative pieces of memorabilia, including original Memphis newspapers which reported his death.

Mr Stead said: "The exhibition coincides with the anniversary of Elvis's death, on August 16, and its also the 60th anniversary of his first hit record."

However, the retired design studio worker said this exhibition would be his last.

In the 1980s his work was displayed by Memphis University and he used the trip to brush up on his Elvis knowledge, including a visit to the singer's Graceland home.

"My interest goes back to the 1950s. I have always been a fan of Elvis and he has a marvellous face for drawing," said Mr Stead.

However, it was becoming increasingly difficult to exhibit work with the Elvis theme, he said.

"Enthusiasm for Elvis may be fading a bit," he added.

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