Sgt Lennon’s lonely art club band


By Michael MacLeod

ALL you need is… £500 to own a rare piece of John Lennon’s artwork, thanks to the credit crunch.

Unseen doodles, sketches and paintings by the Beatles legend will be unveiled on Monday, with organisers anticipating ‘a stampede’ from fans of the Fab Four.

They include excerpts from a book of paintings titled ‘Real Love’ which the songwriter created for his then baby son Sean in the 1970s.

His widow Yoko Ono says she released the latest works at knock-down prices in light of the credit crunch and “to showcase his range of talents.”

Strict copyright rules on all of John Lennon’s work mean that even reproduced prints are highly sought and fetch as much as £4,700.


Only 300 of each print will be available at a gallery in Edinburgh, and include handwritten lyrics from ‘Imagine’ and Lennon’s iconic self portrait.

Yoko’s friend Jonathan Poole arranged an exhibition for the ‘new’ artwork explained Ono’s thinking behind the price cut.

He said: “She cut the prices because is simply being realistic about the money people have to spend in the face of the current economic climate.

“It probably means we’ll have a stampede on Monday, but I wouldn’t be surprised because he is such an icon.

“I’ve been in the business 30 years and I’ve rarely sensed such anticipation about a show.”

The exhibition at The Dome on George Street, includes 45 pieces, 14 of which are newly released and shine a light on a more personal side of Lennon’s family life.

He began drawing long before he had a guitar; attending the prestigious Liverpool Art Institute for three years before the Beatles became a full-time occupation and he continued to draw throughout his life.

His primary medium was line drawing either in pen, pencil, or Japanese sumi ink.

At the time of his death, John had saved and preserved several hundred drawings that he considered important.

In 1986, Yoko Ono, acting for the John Lennon Estate, began releasing limited editions of some of the most meaningful drawings, using only fine art printing techniques, with the goal of re-establishing John Lennon as an important artist of his time.

Mr Poole added: “It’s an insight into John’s opinions on everyday life, his family and his sense of humour – it’s a happy show.

“The whole point for Yoko was to showcase John’s range of talents.

“It’s one hell of a show when you consider how limited these items are, each limited to 300. While they are prints, they can fetch as much as £4,700 so it really is unheard of.

“People will walk in with great curiosity and leave with huge smiles on their faces, and hopefully a bargain under their arm.”

Lennon signed each piece of his art using a patented stamp, know as a chop, which comes from artists in the Orient.

The red stamp was designed to read ‘Like a Cloud, Beautiful Sound’ and features on all limited edition prints on sale at the exhibition include this unique marking.