Los Angeles— “Start spreadin’ the news…” Well they are at Gallery at the Plaza, anyway, because they have what some many call the hottest ticket in town.
Wolff, who directs the gallery, located in the Century Plaza Hotel, holds the rights to portraits of Frank Sinatra, which Wolff says are the last licensed images approved by Sinatra before his death in May.
“The Legacy Suite,” painted by Steve Kaufman, Contains four hand-embellished screen prints of Sinatra in four stages of his life. Kaufman is only the second Artist the Sinatra authorized to reproduce his portrait, according to Wolff. The other is Leroy Neiman.
“Mr. Entertainer,” “Frankly Frank,” “Vegas Crooner’ and Chairman of the Board” make up the suite. These are 75 suites in the edition which Wolff bought from Kaufman.
Besides the 75 suites in the edition, Kaufman created 50 artist proofs which were split between himself and the Sinatra family.
Wolff said that he has made five to 10 of these suites available on a wholesale level on the first- come-first-serve basis. “They must be assured that the retail price is maintained,” Wolff said. He would not disclose the retail price at the press time, but other reports put the suites’ prince tag in the $20,000 to $25,000 range.
Kaufman began working on this project 18 months ago, when he approached the Sinatra family for permission to paint Frank Sinatra. They agreed, and gave him access to thousands of photographs of Sinatra to choose from. “The Legacy Suites” depicts Sinatra in the 1950’s, 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s.
“Frank’s agent and Tina Sinatra came to my place unannounced. When they saw what I was doing with the gang kids, they were touched and said they were going to give me the “rights” to paint Franks’ portraits,” said artist Steve Kaufman.
“I feel the same way about this as I did about painting Muhammed Ali-how could I top this?” He’s going to try by painting Bob Hope’s portrait, having recently signed a contract for this project.
Since “The Legacy Suites” debut, it has been getting some media attention. Tina Sinatra appeared with the suite on CNN’s Larry King Live in May, and the U.S. Postal Service is considering Frank Sinatra.
Kaufman said 25 suites owned by the Sinatra Family will be hung in a chain of restaurants they are opening up called “Sinatra.” The first is planned for the New York, New York Hotel in Las Vegas. ABN