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John Lennon – The Collected Artwork

It is very rare a person can leave a legacy to the world that has impact, is influential and lasts long after they have gone. John Lennon was such a person: gifted and talented, not just as a member of the ‘60’s pop music phenomena, The Beatles, but also as an artist. He has left a lasting legacy not just in his music but in his droll, inspired and uninhibited collection of art works.

Lennon was considered a gifted artist at the young age of 17 when he gained admission to the prestigious Liverpool School of Art. He studied there intermittently for three years before his other life, that of a talented musician in the band The Beatles, took his life in another direction altogether, that of pop star and activist for a peaceful world.

As a touring, writing, recording artist he continued to draw, publishing his first collection of works under the title of ‘In His Own Write’ and a second not long after ‘A Spaniard in the Works’.

This gave the public a look at the other side of this complex person, his satirical view of the world and his slightly surreal look at life in general.

His earlier works as a teen are reflective of the boys own style of literature popular in the 1950’s with the hero, Ivanhoe, clearly winning the contests.

Dotted in among the line drawings done while he was still with the Beatles, are roughly penned lyrics which were to become famous such as” Lucy I the Sky with Diamond”, accompanied with the illustration and Happy Christmas (So, this is Christmas) which, with a few squiggles depicts a scene in the snow were people are gathered about a Christmas Tree.

Meeting Yoko Ono at her solo exhibition in 1966 was a changing point in Lennon’s life which not only saw Lennon eventually leave the Beatles and  form the Plastic Ono Band, which in turn flowed on to his art, which reflected, as it so often did the changes in his world.

Lennon and Ono became famous, or you could say in-famous, for their Bed-in for Peace during their honeymoon in Amsterdam in 1969. The birth of his son Sean in 1975 saw his artistic works taking another direction. The last piece in the book, a line commentary on being a father, says so very much about his love for his son and fatherhood.

A complex man, his views on life, his legacy, and his desire for peace on earth live on today though the medium of his work as an artist in the fullest sense of the word.

AuthorText: Scott Gutterman Forward: Yoko Ono
PublisherInsight Editions