Paul McCartney Paintings

Paul McCartney Paintings

5.0 1
by Paul McCartney, Brian Clarke, Brian Clarke

"For over sixteen years, Paul McCartney has been a committed painter--discovering in paint on canvas another expression of the creative genius that has made him such a beloved artist worldwide. His painting, like so much of his life, has been a very private endeavor. But this past spring he exhibited the work for the first time in a small museum in Germany, where…  See more details below


"For over sixteen years, Paul McCartney has been a committed painter--discovering in paint on canvas another expression of the creative genius that has made him such a beloved artist worldwide. His painting, like so much of his life, has been a very private endeavor. But this past spring he exhibited the work for the first time in a small museum in Germany, where it met with critical acclaim. This collection will delight his followers and bring him a new acknowledgement within the creative community.

His is a world full of faces: from the many lovely abstract portraits of Linda to irreverent, affectionate portraits of the Queen, and the playful, Warhol-like portrait of himself as an Elvis clone ("Elvish Me"). This positive mood is shaded by intriguing, darker masks and portraits, and also abstract landscapes redolent with a sense of place. He sculpts and carves the paint upon the canvas, working with a physical pleasure and immersion influenced by his friend, Willem de Kooning. Candid photographs by Linda McCartney of her husband in the studio provide an exciting counterpoint to the work revealed. Brief texts by critics place his paintings within context, while a long and insightful interview allows McCartney's own voice to be heard.

The delight he feels in his exploration of pigment and canvas is contagious; readers cannot help but be drawn into this warm and often playful world and will emerge with a new respect for depths of his creativity."

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Yes, it's him, and no, they're not bad. In 1982, after years spent as a collector and in the company of artists, McCartney began painting his first canvases, inspired (as he notes repeatedly in the various interviews here), primarily by the late Willem de Kooning, who lived down the road from him at the time. The paintings he produced then and since--selected here in 117 color illustrations and 17 duotone photos--readily show the late de Kooning's influence: lush color washes, careful blocking of the canvas, airy abstraction. The problem is that none of McCartney's paintings in this style approach his models in terms of brush work, or significance. Inane titles and commentary on the work do not help matters. McCartney and interlocutor Wolfgang Suttner, a culture bureaucrat in the German county of Siegen-Wittgenstein, have the following exchange over Big Mountain Face, which furnishes the book's cover: Suttner: "It is the McCartney style, it is drainage. I think we talked about this picture being like the face in the mountain." McCartney: "Yes, like Mount Rushmore, the monumental faces of American presidents. It's as if someone has carved this great big face on the side of the mountain." A loose assortment of little-known art journalists with varying degrees of separation from McCartney (one was "supported by McCartney" in a gallery endeavor and is a former editor of the Beatles' literary imprint, Zapple), provide further insights into works like Boxer lips, Sea God, Mr. Kipps; Brains on Fire and Bowie Spewing (McCartney: "Which means being sick"). But the paintings are pleasant to look at, at times evoking Philip Guston (White Dream) and '80s landscape artist Christian Brechneff, and fans will be happy to see their man has a hobby at which he excels. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|

Product Details

Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
Edition description:
1 ED
Product dimensions:
10.41(w) x 12.85(h) x 0.90(d)

Read an Excerpt

Paul McCartney and the Courage to Get Lost

One of the first things I noticed about Paul McCartney was his language. From the first conversation we had I was aware of the shared vocabulary of the painter. One of the most memorable conversations of my life took place in AIR London, the recording studios of George Martin. Paul went to great lengths to explain to me the detailed procedure of operating a mixing desk. Technologically uneducated and incapable of effectively operating a fax machine or TV remote control, I was astonished that I fully followed the lecture. The language he used was my language. In it sounds had textures, notes had color, tracks were applied in layers like impasto, sweeping strings were brushstrokes, and so on. At the time, I assumed that Paul had brilliantly come down to my level. As our friendship grew I came to realize that he always speaks in the language of the visual artist. It is his natural inclination.

Having distinguished himself as historically as he has in the cultural landscape of the century as a songwriter and performer, it's a brave move for Paul to share his paintings with us. Paul McCartney approaches his adventure in painting with the same characteristic modesty that animates his music. Painting, like music, is a journey for McCartney, a mystery tour that he allows to lead him where it will.

Over twenty-five years ago Paul and Linda, searching for a new home, decided consciously to get lost in the labyrinthine lanes of East Sussex, until by chance they happened upon the property that was to become their family home. On many occasions he has corrected me when I described his long industrious days as "hard work." "I'm a musician; I don't work, I play." He is the ultimate amateur, the anti-professional, the intuitive, the subjective; he is, in short -- by my definition at least -- the genuine article, a real artist entirely fearless about getting lost. Armed with what must constitute one of the most full and varied lives of our time, with learning and experience that would make the most generous of us cynical, Paul McCartney, by some mercurial twist of fate and, I venture, gargantuan effort, has remained as a artist a humble, modest man. Nothing is too insignificant for his full attention; no little castaway item or urban waste lying on a beach escapes his creative eye. No idea in painting goes unregistered, and the great discoveries of artistic giants of the past are absorbed into his own vocabulary with the same gentle ease with which most of us might enjoy the scent of a flower. Robert Fraser described Paul to me in the late seventies as "that rare, exotic thing, a real artist."

--Brian Clarke

Excerpted by permission of Little, Brown and Company. Copyright © 2000 by Little, Brown and Company. Paintings by Paul McCartney © 2000 by Paul McCartney.

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Paul McCartney Paintings 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I first saw the painting 'Big Mountain Face' I was amazed at how much it resembled the face of George Washington from the vantage point of the new walkway at Mount Rushmore, which passes almost directly beneath the Four Faces. Here's the weird part: When that new walkway first opened, about 2 or 3 years ago, I was walking along it, admiring the Faces (the original Fab Four?) and I could not get the thought out of my head, 'What if the Beatles were here? Wouldn't that be cool!' as if picturing them making another fun movie here, alas, sans John. That thought lingered with me the rest of the afternoon. I am a Beatles fan but to have had such a thought from out of the blue was odd, even for me! Mr. McCartney, if you read this, have you been to Mount Rushmore in the past few years? Is it what inspired 'Big Mountain Face'? Your painting has been haunting me because of those strange thoughts I had there 2 or 3 years ago. (I have to wonder, too, about the song Rocky Raccoon. Sounds like some time in the past you've been here to the 'Black minin' Hills of Dakota...')