John Lennon And The Beatles Made A Painting Together, Now It’s Up For Auction

This I posted in Facebook exactly four years ago with the following note, “Aside from painting the Casbah Coffee Club together before its formal opening in June 1962, The Beatles may not have painted together again until in 1966 in Japan probably out of boredom as the article suggests.”

Lynn Douglass ,  CONTRIBUTOR

All you need is love, a 30” x 40” blank canvas, some paint, and four Beatles holed up in a Tokyo Hilton hotel room for two nights…

And after those hard day’s nights?  An abstract collaboration called “Images of a Woman” painted and signed by John, Paul, George and Ringo.  Weiss Auctions will handle the sale in the music memorabilia category of its auction in Oceanside, NY on September 14.

It all came together in 1966 when the Beatles were touring Japan and scheduled to play at Budokan Hall, a sacred Sumo Wrestling venue in the center of Tokyo.  A 2008 BBC  News online article describes the tense atmosphere leading up to the concert.  Before they got there, they reportedly received death threats.   It took 35,000 policemen to guard the group from fans and protestors who believed the pop group would “desecrate” the martial arts hall. In the days preceding the concert, due to the threats, the Beatles stayed in their hotel room.

“They were bored,” said Philip Weiss, co-owner of Weiss Auctions and frequent appraiser on Antiques Road Show. Someone, maybe Brian Epstein, gave them the canvas and paints.  I wonder which Beatle thought to use a woman as inspiration—good idea though, kept them busy.

According to Mr. Weiss, “Over the course of two nights, working by lamp light in the center of the canvas, each Beatle painted a corner. The lamp got removed, [leaving a circle in the center], where each Beatle signed his work.”

The piece has only traded a few times. Originally, it was given to the chairman of the Beatles Fan Club in Japan. According to Business Insider, in the mid-1990s, the painting was sold to a dealer in Osaka for approximately $191,000.  In 2002, the painting was up for sale on eBay, though it is not certain the exact amount it sold for, or if it sold at all. It eventually landed in the hands of the private collector who is now putting it up for sale.

Mr. Weiss believes the estimate for the painting is conservative at $80,000 to $100,000 and hopes the original work will sell for “4 to 5 times that price.”  There’s so much Beatles’ hype it’s hard to know what something like this might fetch.  “There’s nothing comparable on the market,” said Mr. Weiss.

Whether wielding a paintbrush or a guitar, each Beatle has his own distinct artistic style. The auction catalogue describes four different visions:

Paul’s corner has a symmetrical, psychedelic feel, John’s has a dark center surrounded by thick oils, George’s part is large and colorful, and Ringo’s has a cartoon like image.

Perhaps “Images of a Woman” will be the inspiration for some Stella McCartney prints, say the Summer 2013 collection? 

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