Showing posts with label John Lennon artwork. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John Lennon artwork. Show all posts

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Beatles social media gallery Jan. 11, 2020

Social media highlights from the Beatles and friends this week.

Peace and love.

I recommend it highly snowmobiling what a great day Thank you Caleb. Peace and love peace and love. 

Ringo: "I love the mountains!"
Pattie Boyd
Drawing by John Lennon
PARIS, 1961⠀
John: "Paris has always been the object of English romanticism, hasn't it? I fell for Paris first of all, even before Hamburg. I remember spending my 21st birthday there with Paul in 1961" ⠀

In October 1961, @JohnLennon and @PaulMcCartney hitch-hiked to Paris with the £100 Aunt Mater had given John for his 21st birthday. They hung out with their photographer friend Jürgen Vollmer and returned to Liverpool a fortnight later, having traded in their 'rocker' haircuts for a new combed down, diagonally styled look (that from then on would famously be known as Beatle 'mop top' haircuts), styled by Jürgen.⠀
Here's John, photographed by Jürgen, under the Eiffel Tower in Paris in early October 1961.
Local Children / Paul and Stella, Caribbean, 1979. One of the photos featured in @LindaMcCartney’s major photographic retrospective. Catch the #LindaRetrospective @glasgowkelvingrove until this Sunday 12th January #PaulMcCartney #LindaMcCartney @StellaMcCartney #StellaMcCartney #ThrowbackThursday #TBT #Barbados

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

John Lennon hand-drawn birthday card to Pattie Harrison up for auction

Via the Daily Express:

A RARE quirky hand-drawn birthday card John Lennon made for George Harrison's wife is tipped to sell for £12,000. The Beatle drew the card, which shows five naked figures of Lennon sitting cross-legged, for model and photographer Pattie Boyd's 24th birthday in 1968. 

...The card has been kept by Boyd but she has now chosen to sell it at auction.

Stephen Maycock, from London auctioneers Bonhams, said: "John Lennon gave this to Pattie Boyd on her birthday on March 17, 1968 when they were in India.

"The Beatles were there in February and March. We know that Lennon did at least two cards because another one he made for Mike Love of the Beach Boys who was also there, previously sold at auction in the 1980s.


Monday, December 18, 2017

John Lennon "Fat Budgie" drawing sells at auction

Bonham's auction house sold John Lennon's "fat budgie" sketch, used for a Christmas card in 1965, for £22,500 this week.

The late Beatle's very simple doodle of the overweight bird on a perch was actually designed for his novel 'A Spaniard in the Works' - a book containing nonsensical stories and drawings by him.

But after it was published Oxfam asked permission to use his primitive bird sketch for its charity Christmas cards of the same year.

The work was entitled 'The Fat Budgie' by Lennon, but because of its rotund shape it looks like a robin which made it perfect for the front of a Christmas card. 

The original pen and ink drawing, which is 8ins by 10ins, was gifted by Lennon to Tom Maschler, a British literary editor who worked on his book.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

John Lennon's butcher cover up for auction

John Lennon's personal, signed copy of the Beatles' "butcher cover" of the U.S. Yesterday and Today LP is up for bid via Heritage Auctions.

Lennon traded the record with a collector for a tape copy of the early Beatles' bootleg Yellow Matter Custard, which featured a batch of the band's BBC recordings. I'd say John lost in the exchange!

Here's the listing:

Beatles - John Lennon's Personal Stereo "Butcher Cover" Prototype with His Original Artwork on the Blank Back and Signatures of Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr on the Front. The Rarest Beatle Record in the World. The term "world class" is probably a bit over-used in describing collectibles. Labeling this unique, rare, and desirable Beatles item as "World Class" is not hyperbole. If anything, it does not do it justice. Offered here is the Yesterday And Today Stereo Prototype "Butcher Cover" that was owned by John Lennon and even displayed on the wall of his Dakota apartment until the point where he had an assistant take it down and deliver it to the Record Plant where he signed it in blue ink: "To Dave from/ John Lennon/ Dec 7th 71". The recipient was Dave Morrell, a Beatles fan and bootleg collector who was in the studio showing John some of his memorabilia and bootleg material. The Butcher was given in essentially a trade for a reel-to-reel tape of the Yellow Matter Custard bootleg that Lennon desired. Lennon filled the blank back of the cover with an original piece of art in black ink. It fills the cover and depicts a man with a shovel and his dog, both posed in front of a setting sun. Interestingly, he incorporated various tears, stains, and flaws into the picture.

So far, we have a rare album cover owned and displayed by Beatle John Lennon with his autograph on the front and a piece of his original art on the back. That is enough to make it "world class." Agreed? Well, the original owner Dave Morrell managed to obtain later two additional Beatle autographs: a bold black felt tip signature "Ringo Starr" and a blue ink signature "Paul McCartney", each across their respective images. "Icing on the cake" to coin a phrase. Included with this lot is a signed Letter of Authenticity from noted Beatle autograph expert Frank Caiazzo (text below). Also includes letters of authenticity from both Gary Hein and Perry Cox (see online description at for full letters). In Gary Hein's words: ""There is no Beatles album in the world that compares with this one, in my professional opinion, in terms of both Rarity and Value." We don't feel the need to emphasize further the importance of this piece to the Beatle collector, or the Art collector, or the Pop Culture collector, or the Record collector. Don't let this one pass you by! The rarest Beatle record in the world. From the Stan Panenka Beatles Vinyl Collection.

Text of Letter of Authenticity from Frank Caiazzo dated July 18, 2005:

"To Whom It May Concern,

"The purpose of this letter is to serve as authentication of the signature and artwork of John Lennon, as well as the signatures of Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. This is contained on an exceptionally rare blank back stereo 'butcher cover' for The Beatles 1966 LP release 'Yesterday And Today,' which was John Lennon's personal copy. All three have signed very nicely on the front cover. The blank back cover contains an amazing piece of art work, done entirely by Lennon, in which he incorporates tears, holes and stains into the actual art itself. This item was originally obtained in late 1971 by Dave Morrell, a bootleg collector who wound up befriending John and giving him a bootleg record. To show his appreciation, John gave Mr. Morrell his personal butcher and signed with a bubble coming out of his mouth, 'To Dave' and also dated December 7, 1971. The signatures of McCartney and Starr were obtained at later dates, in person by Dave Morrell himself. Needless to say, this is an amazing signed Beatles item, and the extra Lennon artwork and the fact that this was his personal LP cover, combine to make this a world class Beatles collectible.

"I hereby guarantee the authenticity of the aforementioned Beatles 'Yesterday And Today' album cover which has been signed and drawn on by John Lennon, and additionally signed Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. This guarantee is without time limit."

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Artifacts: John Lennon's Daily Howl

The Daily Howl was a mock newspaper John Lennon created and shared with his friends while he was a student at Quarry Bank High School in Liverpool.

Full of "Goon Show"-influenced prose and grotesque and sometimes offensive cartoons, it landed him in trouble, but also helped earn him entrance into art school.

You can also see the roots of his later writings and drawings collected in his two books of the 1960s: "In His Own Write" and "Spaniard in the Works."

Friday, February 20, 2015

Review: John Lennon - The Collected Artwork

Would we be interested in John Lennon's art if he hadn't been a Beatle? Probably not. Yet, Lennon's facility for expressing himself with sketches, cartoons and paintings was an important part of his character. Examining his artwork and gives us another window into understanding him as a personality and creative artist.

Lennon certainly had a knack for art. The pen-and-ink cartoons that accompanied the offbeat poems and stories of his 1960s books "In His Own Write" and "A Spaniard in the Works" are primitive, yet imaginative, funny and sometimes cruelly sarcastic.

Meanwhile, his works from the mid to late 1970s, before his death, are gentle and whimsical and still funny. You can see he's relaxed, mellowed and enjoying domestic life as a stay-at-home dad to his son Sean. Images of the sun and clouds and comical, smiling naked figures abound in a sort of minimal dreamscape. In one memorable image, Lennon's giant face floats over a group of hills with the caption: "At last he could see the mountains."

In these later works, Lennon uses the minimum number of lines necessary to create the images he wants to display, as if he's challenging himself not to put anything more on paper than necessary. It's a reflection of his approach to music and lyrics, too. Many of Lennon's best and most moving music is primitive and minimal - consider the simple, straight-forward lyrics and stripped-down arrangements of his Plastic Ono Band album.

Many of his later drawings and watercolors have a touch of Matisse to them in their curved, minimal lines, yet Lennon had a recognizable style of his own.

A few of his cartoons display a talent that wouldn't be out of place in pages of The New Yorker. Lennon claimed James Thurber as an influence, and that's clear in the cartoons from his 1960s books. There's a late-in-life cartoon, too, that has this element. Showing Lennon and little Sean passing another man on the sidewalk, it features a New Yorker-style caption at the bottom. The first man says, "I'm getting into jazz," while John replies, "I've been avoiding it all my life." It's funny stuff, and demonstrates how Lennon used images and words as a sort of journal or diary of his feelings and observations on life.

Lennon, Sean and Yoko Ono took summer trips to Japan between 1977 and 1979 and, while there, he studied traditional sumi painting, which matched and inspired his own minimal-line approach and resulted in some lovely works.

Since his death, Lennon's art has been grouped by period and style and reproduced in a number of slim volumes, but "John Lennon: The Collected Artwork" is the most lavish and complete to date.

Featuring an introduction by Ono and text by arts writer Scott Gutterman, it displays Lennon's work pretty much chronologically, from childhood crayon and ink drawings inspired by his readings about Ivanhoe and the Saxons, to the cruel/funny cartoons of his books, to the lighter, gentler works of his post-Beatles life.

The only thinh left out are the controversial erotic works of Lennon's "Bag One" portfolio, which he created as a wedding gift to Ono in 1970. The portfolio was infamously displayed for one day in London before Scotland Yard shut the exhibition down on grounds of indecency. The absence of the works isn't explained in this book, and the works aren't mentioned, which is mysterious.

The text in general is light on detail. There's not much analysis of Lennon's art or much context for it - just enough to navigate us through the works on display. The details provided on Lennon are somewhat distorted, too. The myth of his having been born during an air raid on Liverpool is repeated and much is made of Lennon having attended art school. It's not mentioned that he barely got in and soon dropped out.

Some exploration into why Lennon created visual art throughout his life, despite having given up on pursuing it as a formal career would've been interesting and might have provided more insight into the creator of these works.

The inclusion of excerpts of lyric manuscripts in Lennon's own hand scattered throughout the books also seems a little haphazard. For the most part, the lyrics included don't match up with the images they accompany. They are just there.

As a collection of Lennon's artwork, the book is fairly complete and lovely to look at, but you'll need to go elsewhere to learn more about the artist himself.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Artifact: John Lennon 1964/1965 Sketch Of A Bird

From a batch of new Beatles-related items at Track Auctions
A sketch in black ink drawn by John Lennon. The drawing depicts a bird on a perch. The unpublished sketch was originally submitted to Jonathan Cape for possible inclusion into one of John Lennon's two books In His Own Write or A Spaniard In The Works which were published in 1964 and 1965, respectively. Similar sketches can be seen in both of the publications. The drawing came directly from the collection of Tom Maschler who was head of Jonathan Cape, the company that published both books, in the sixties. It is not one of the lots that were included in the recent sale of John's auction that took place at Sotheby's, New York on 4th June 2014. The sheet of paper measures 25.5cm x 20.25cm (10 inches x 8 inches). The paper has some light creasing on each corner and a scattering of small ink spots in various places. The condition of the sketch is very good.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Artifact: John Lennon doodle and autograph in copy of Yoko Ono "Grapefruit" book

Up for auction now at Lelands. Details:

Special caricature drawn on the flyleaf with image and John and Yoko. This is the product of a marvelous meeting between John and Sheldon Goldberg, who was a NY Telephone manager pressed into service during the protracted strike of 1972. Using his nom de plume of "Reverend Gherkin," Lennon was visited because men of the clergy were being given preference along with people with special needs! After a four hour breakfast, including watching "John try out three or four guitars," "Shelly" asked hesitantly for an autograph. Lennon replied, "Shel, I can do better than that" and grabbed this book and signed it in this most special way. The "Imagine" signed album also mentioned in this carefully scripted full page letter? Whereabouts unknown. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

New John Lennon prints released in conjunction with art exhibitions

Three new prints will be sold at exhibitions of John Lennon's art set for Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

From the press release:

... these posthumous, limited edition prints are adapted from Lennon's original drawings.  The art has been selected from rare archival sketches and is representative of his whimsical and thought provoking imagery.  Each print is reproduced utilizing the sophisticated and detailed standards typical for archival fine art printing processes, guided, approved and hand-signed by Yoko Ono.

The City In My Heart (Eiffel Tower) depicts a romantic memory of John and Yoko's honeymoon in Paris.  I'm One of Your Biggest Fans reflects his penchant for witty commentary when greeted by fans.  The Happy Xmas tree celebrates peace and the powerful message of Happy Xmas (War Is Over). The Bag One Arts exhibition opens in Los Angeles at Legacy Fine Art (101 N Robertson Blvd.) on December 12th – 14th and in Las Vegas on December 5th at AFA Gallery at The Fashion Show Mall.

"Introducing the Bag One Arts program through this unique exhibition continues to honor John's legacy," said Ono. "The teams at Bag One Arts and Epic Rights have exceeded my expectations both in terms of the quality of the prints and their passion in organizing the exhibitions. On a personal note, I'm especially proud to share John's The City in My Heart print, created during our honeymoon."

"We're all very excited to bring Lennon's distinct and imaginative artwork to the general public, sharing his artistic vision and underscoring his powerful message of love, peace and humanity," said Epic Rights' Furano.  "My personal favorite, Happy Xmas, is particularly poignant at this time of year."

In addition, a complete suite of the Bag One portfolio of lithographs resides in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.  The graphic collection has traveled throughout the U.S., England, Spain, Italy, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Hong Kong and Manila.  For more information about Lennon's Bag One Arts exhibitions, visit