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In the Air – Art+Auction's Gossip Column

Ringo Starr Creates a Memorial Sculpture to John Lennon With an iPad

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Want an autograph from the fourth Beatle? You’ll have to buy some of his art first. Ringo Starr — whose latest art project, a rainbow-colored interpretation of Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd’s bronze “Knotted Gun” sculpture, was unveiled yesterday in London — won’t sign anything but his artwork.

Starr isn’t the first Beatle to break into the world of fine art. John Lennon studied at the Liverpool Art Institute and a portfolio of his lithographs is in the permanent collection of New York’s MoMA. (His drawings were also featured in a SoHo exhibition earlier this fall organized by his widow, artist Yoko Ono.) Paul McCartney had a retrospective of his paintings, natural wood sculpture, and photographs at Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery in 2002.

Starr may be the first Beatle, however, to try his hand at public sculpture. His “Knotted Gun” was commissioned by the Non-Violence Foundation to commemorate the 31st anniversary of John Lennon’s murder. (The original “Knotted Gun” is stationed outside the UN Headquarters in New York, and is also a memorial to Lennon.) Starr’s interpretation will tour UK schools as part of a non-violence initiative during Olymics year.

Starr, 71, may have taken a cue from another artistic British legend — David Hockney — in his artistic process. “I just did my artwork on my iPad, put it on my computer and transferred it on to paper with the outline of the gun,” he told the Independent.

Julia Halperin

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  1. Imagine an entire world living in peace… John saw the beauty and inherent good in humanity. I tried to do his legacy justice and channel his world-embracing and loving energy this week with a tribute portrait inspired by his music and his passion for changing the world. You can see this new work of art in memoriam on my artist’s blog at along with some pictures showing how I created it. See John holding the Universe in his hand and spreading his message. When you stop by, let me know how his words and music have affected your life and creativity!

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