Los Angeles is the new temporary home of The Art of John Lennon, an exhibit of the late Beatle’s artwork.
Pacific Edge Gallery business partners Paul C. Jillson and Richard Horowitz created the print show 23 years ago, initially out of Horowitz’s San Diego record shop. His connection to a Laguna Beach gallery owner led Horowitz to Lennon’s artwork. After their first show in 1990, Horowitz and Jillson held another exhibit in Seattle, where Yoko Ono’s assistant was in attendance. Through her, the two business partners received full consent by the estate and the support of Ono herself.
Most of the art is owned by Ono, while the rest comes from private collectors. This exhibition displays more than 120 serigraphs, signed lithographs and lyric sheets by the legendary Beatle, who was murdered in 1980. Pieces also include part of the rare “Bag One” series, a set of 15 drawings by Lennon that were sold as a collection in a portfolio-shaped case during the 1960s, originally for $1,200 each.
“It’s so fascinating to me how many people are interested,” says Horowitz. “We see 15-year-old girls in here who know the lyrics. It’s cool that it’s transcended several generations already and there doesn’t appear to be any end in sight.”
The Art of John Lennon is only one of two authorized Lennon art shows. Ono won’t allow others to display her late husband’s work due to quality control issues.
The exhibition runs from May 3 through 5, at Westfield Century City Mall, next to the Juicy Couture store, and is free to the public.
Says Horowitz: “We’ve always made it free so that anybody can come in and see it. That’s why we love doing it in shopping centers — it’s for everybody.”