John Lennon

John Lennon Art at Ocean Blue GalleriesWhen Did John Lennon Start Creating Artwork?

John attended the Liverpool Art Institute for three years (1957-60)
During that time he developed a style of sketching and drawing figures containing his somewhat sarcastic sense of humor. In later years he would incorporate this whimsical style into art for his books and work done for various social movements. John memorialized the infamous Bed in for peace by creating sketches of the scene; many of these drawings are now part of the Bag One collection of John’s art.

Where were the original drawings used or displayed?

John’s drawings were used as illustrations for best-selling books that he wrote in the 1960’s. These include A SPANIARD IN THE WORKS and

In 1970 John released the only suite of Hand Signed art that was ever produced by John Lennon. This Bag One portfolio is highly prized by Lennon collectors worldwide. The title Bag One indicates that a second series was forthcoming. John had planned to release additional series of art but the criticism and subsequent arrest on pornography charges soured him on the idea.

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Browse John Lennon Limited Edition Prints for Sale at Ocean Blue Galleries

John Lennon Art for sale at Ocean Blue Galleries

John Lennon Bag 1 artworksWhat does Bag 1 mean?

John created a portfolio of drawings in 1969, which he entitled “Bag One”. These drawings depicted John and Yoko’s wedding and honeymoon as well as some very erotic poses of he and Yoko having various kinds of sex. Fourteen of these were used as the images for the Bag One suite. The fifteenth print was scribed directly on the printing plate at the time of printing. The lithographs were pencil signed and numbered in edition of 300 + 45 HC. These were packaged and sold as portfolio sets only. The 300 portfolios consisted of the fifteen lithographs, all with matching edition numbers, in a white vinyl portfolio case designed by Ted Lapidus. These were quickly sold out in major galleries in London, NY, Chicago and Toronto. John was charged with obscenity at the opening of his Chicago Area show on March 28, 1970. This exhibit was at Merrill Chase galleries in Oakbrook. The erotic prints were seized for evidence as pornography. The court case was a long-drawn-out affair. John and the gallery eventually won the case and a very decisive precedence for freedom of speech. A complete suite of the “Bag One” portfolio of lithographs is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

What are the prints that are being exhibited in the gallery?

Yoko Ono copyrighted imageAfter the Beatles broke up in 1970 John began to venture around the world in pursuit of a kind of happiness that was lacking as a BEATLE. He cherished his new wife Yoko and wanted to learn all he could about the Japanese culture and art that was her background. It is important to understand that John and Yoko’s relationship was based on a mutual love for art. John met Yoko at one of her shows in New York. Yoko was part of the Fluxus movement of artists that eventually became the neo-expressionist’s period that influences much the art we see today. This art movement is often overlooked as to its importance in the evolution of modern/contemporary art in the 20th century. To Yoko’s installation of a hammer with nails next to it he asked her something to the effect of. “What if I pound the nails in” That began a love story that John chronicled in sketch pads she had given him and asked that he record their life together. Over the years John saved and preserved several hundred drawings that he considered to be the most significant. In 1986, Yoko Ono, began releasing limited editions of some of the most meaningful drawings, using fine art printing techniques, she showcased John Lennon as an important artist of his time. Each print had John’s signature embossed as well as Yoko Ono Lennon hand signed in pencil. She also includes the chop in red ink on the art. This is John’s personal chop and translates to “Like a Cloud, Beautiful Sound. “

John Lennon limited edition lyric printsWhat is the lyric print?

The manuscript editions are handpulled serigraphs reproduced from Lennon’s original hand-written lyric sheets. They are signed in the plate and are limited to an edition of 1,000 numbered and 75 artist proofs worldwide.

John’s Personal Chop Mark

John Lennon art prints chop markEach print is hand-stamped with John’s personal chop mark, which he designed during his lengthy visit to Japan in 1977. Asian artist often sign their work with a chop, or patented stamp, rather than a signature, and John designed his to read “Like a cloud, beautiful sound”.

Questions? Please contact Ocean Blue Galleries Key West at 305-296-7474