Elvis Tribute Artists Featured in Book Celebrating Elvis Week, and the Exhibit, "Elvis?" Opening Late August 2006

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The World of Elvis impersonators and tribute artists is illuminated in all its fantastic and fanatic glory in a new book, "Living the Life; The World of Elvis Tribute Artists" and a photographic exhibition at Blue Star Contemporary Art Center in San Antonio by nationally-known artist and photographer Patty Carroll.

It is Elvis week and the World of Elvis impersonators and tribute artists is illuminated in all its fantastic and fanatic glory in a new book, "Living the Life: The World of Elvis Tribute Artists" by nationally-known artist and photographer Patty Carroll. Published by Verve Editions, the book is available for $10. at http://www.elimpersonators.com. The book accompanies the upcoming exhibit of Carroll's photographs of the Tribute performers, titled "Elvis?" at the Blue Star Contemporary Art Center in San Antonio, Texas opening August 31.

The book features full color photographs of 76 tribute artists, each with their own story and each with their own take on Elvis. Some are full-time entertainers who appear at clubs and other venues year round. Others are regular guys whose day jobs range from house painter to insurance salesman. One performs with his son, a 7-year old boy who wants to be just like his daddy and asked for an Elvis suit for Christmas. Another, a ventriloquist, performs in Elvis garb himself with an Elvis-costumed dummy on his knee. The impersonators shown in the book range in nationality, size, sex, color and talent! Carroll traveled to Tokyo to photograph Japanese ETA (Elvis Tribute Artists), as well as many competitions around the US and Britain to capture the diversity of people who love to sing and perform Elvis songs. As Rick Marino, (a famous ETA) says on the back cover, “All of us look a little like Elvis, but none of us look like each other.”

“'Living the Life' peeks into this world and celebrates the guys who have made Elvis such a huge part of their lives.” Carroll said. “It’s a tribute to their devotion and the joy they bring to the legions of Elvis fans they entertain.”

Throughout her career, Carroll has used aspects of popular culture as subject matter for her photographs. She has documented Elvis impersonators since the early 1990s, photographing them morphed into their full Elvis-costumed personas at clubs, parties and Elvis conferences. Along the way, she developed a rapport with the artists and a sympathetic understanding of this unique subculture’s obsessive, almost religious, attachment to The King.

The book is introduced by Andrei Codrescu, novelist, essayist and poet, on his experience of the Elvis world. Codrescu’s commentaries are heard on National Public Radio. Patty Carroll includes her own essay, focusing on the transformative experience of becoming an Elvis impersonator.

Carroll’s Elvis photographs have been exhibited around the world. Many were included in a large exhibition “Elvis and Marilyn: 2X Immortal” which toured 10 cities in the U.S. and Japan over a period of four years.. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, as well as in many private collections. The exhibit, "Elvis?" is part of a large photography festival for the month of September in San Antonio. The Blue Star Contemporary Art Center is located at 116 Blue Star, San Antonio, TX 78204 ph:210.227.6960

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