John Lennon's art work to be on display through Tuesday, his birthday
Yoko Ono concedes that some of the minimalist, whimsy-filled sketches and drawings of her deceased husband John Lennon that go on exhibit Friday remind her of those of Pablo Picasso.
Lennon and Picasso "had the same mentality," said Ono. "That style they adapted - it was a very Zen thing. Simple and Zen."
Ono has selected about 100 of Lennon's drawings ("I'm hands on with everything") to be shown in Soho through Tuesday, the day that would have been the Beatle's 72nd birthday. While the $2 suggested donation for admission will benefit CityMeals on Wheels, selected images will also be for sale at prices ranging between $200 and $22,000. Those proceeds will benefit Bag One Arts, the art arm of the Lennon estate, and Legacy Productions.
She chose CityMeals on Wheels as the beneficiary for donations because "people need food. They need to eat. After the economic shock, it's very hard for them." But Ono, who turns 80 on Feb. 18, seemed offended when asked if she had a special affinity with the organization that delivers 1.8 million meals to 16,500 elderly New Yorkers each year. "I'm against ageism. I don't consider myself elderly. You should drop that word 'elderly,'" she advised.
Lennon's drawings conjure different emotions for Ono, evoking both the joy of their time together and pain of his shocking murder Dec. 8, 1980, outside their home at The Dakota. "Sometimes a drawing makes me think about the day he made it and it's a very wonderful thing. Other times . . . well, it's two sides of the coin," said Ono.
Lennon would have supported the "Occupy Wall Street," movement and endorsed the ongoing efforts of United Nations assembly to make the world a more loving place, said Ono. "It's very important we have the U.N. We should be proud and honored and happy it is in the U.S."
Ono strolls past the Lennon "Imagine," memorial in Central Park almost every day but considers "the whole city" a tribute to her late husband. "John was a New Yorker," and his spirit lives on throughout the metropolis, his music, and his art she explained. "The world is so weird and a lot of people are down all the time. They shouldn't be. We need to keep a sense of humor and not be depressed all the time."
She is not sure if she has a copy of the iconic Annie Leibovitz photograph of herself clothed, while a naked Lennon curls around her, taken just hours before Lennon's death: "It may be sitting in storage or some place."
If you go: Location: 130 Prince St., between Wooster and W. Broadway
Dates and times: Fri. Oct. 5 noon - 9 p.m.
Sat. Oct. 6: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Sun., Oct. 7, Mon. Oct. 8 and Tues. Oct. 9 (Lennon's 72nd birthday) 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.