Charlotte Fine Art Gallery debuts the signed artwork of the Beatles and Bob Dylan Friday. The exhibit runs through Sunday and includes John Lennon’s “Bag One” collection, George Harrison’s collaborations with musician Keith West, Paul McCartney’s abstract expressionist paintings, Ringo Starr’s pop art and Dylan’s Impressionist-style paintings. Limited-edition signed lithographs will be available for purchase.
Collection curator Neal Glaser, who is Ringo Starr’s art publisher and Paul McCartney’s art distributor, answered a few questions about the new show.
Q. Where did the idea to combine the Beatles’ and Dylan’s artwork come from?
A. There were no bigger cultural icons of the ’60s than Bob Dylan and the Beatles. Since all have worked in the visual arts, it seemed perfect to put on a show of their paintings all together in one place. Furthermore, the Beatles were such huge fans of Bob, and vice versa. It all fit together.
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Q. Why Charlotte as opposed to a larger metropolitan area?
A. We love the Charlotte Fine Art Gallery, and the people the last time we were here (animator Ron Campbell’s September show) were just so great. This show is something that we have just put together, and next year we will be exhibiting in the larger markets like New York and Chicago. We have even had discussions with a few museums and I believe that is going to happen sooner than later.
Q. Were the Beatles or Dylan apprehensive about sharing their work publicly?
A. There always is apprehension when any artist decides to show his work. For a musician or actor there is little bit of the thought, “Will they like it because of my day job?” However, these people are incredibly talented, and their artistic visions extend beyond their main career. Most of these people started out in the visual arts as children, and that was way before they found their acting or singing careers.
Q. How does each artist’s personality come across in their art?
A. That is the most fun about this gallery showing. You can really get a feel for what they are all about underneath all the hit records. Each one has his own style and vision, and I believe anyone who attends will be quite surprised at the contrasts of expression.
Q. Do you find that collectors’ preferences have more to do with the art than who their favorite Beatle is or if they’re a Bob Dylan fan?
A. Absolutely, the collector has to have a feel for what the artist is doing and expressing with his work. It’s always extra fun when a Beatle or Bob fan loves the artwork and gets excited over their favorite performer painting it.
Q. Does this kind of exhibit attract not only art collectors, but music fans who wouldn’t necessarily go to a gallery for a more traditional show?
A. Yes, and I find that personally very rewarding. I have been a curator for many exhibits over the last 30 years, and it is refreshing to have music fans and art collectors come together to have a similar experience. It is a combination of different but very similar points of view. The good news is both groups will appreciate and buy the art and be proud to hang them in their homes. They might have different reasons, but the joy it brings is exactly the same.
Q. Will there be prints available?
A. Yes, there will be limited-edition prints available as well as original works. But every piece in the exhibit – whether a print or original – is hand-signed by each artist, which gives it the ultimate stamp of approval. The prints start at $1,000 and go up over $10,000. Beatles and Dylan autographs usually sell for almost the same price as the art. How strange is that, because you get their autograph and a fine art piece all in one?
‘The Art of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, George Harrison & Bob Dylan’
When: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday (reception 6-9 p.m); 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday.
Where: Charlotte Fine Art Gallery, 7510 Pineville-Matthews Road, Suite 9-A.