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Paul McCartney's new album displays the musician's own paintings

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Legendary musician, one of the founders of The Beatles, Sir Paul McCartney announced the release of his new solo album «Egypt Station», presenting the album cover and two music videos. All the paintings displayed were made by the musician himself who adores Magritte and hangs on to the memory of his friendship with Willem de Kooning. Let’s dive into the Beetle’s paintings for his new album and more!
Sir Paul, who celebrated his 76th birthday on June 18, 2018, incessantly surprises his fans: his new album is scheduled for release on September 7 of this year. More than that, according to the singer himself, his life goes beyond mere music. Painting has long been part of it. And yet, McCartney never claimed to be a great artist: painting is just a pastime bringing him pleasure. However, at the end of the day there are still paintings.
Paul McCartney and his paintings. Photo source: osgarotosdeliverpool.com.br
Sir Paul got into painting rather late. In his youth days, Paul McCartney felt that only those who had acquired a proper art degree could actually paint. Yet, at fourteen he won an art prize for a drawing of St Aidan’s Church on the Speke housing estate. However, being unable to boast of studying at a notorious college, like John Lennon or Stuart Sutcliffe, McCartney didn’t dare to venture into painting. The irony is that being one of the songwriters for The Beatles, Paul didn’t have any formal music training either, but this failed to prevent him from doing his thing!
Paul McCartney. Robot and Star. 1995
As McCartney said in an interview, «for me it’s a great pleasure. I really like to apply paint to the canvas. I love this process itself. I create my works while painting, without subjecting them to profound analysis.» It may be said that the singer’s attitude towards painting was influenced by one of his friends-artists. Once in the studio of abstractionist Willem de Kooning, McCartney discussed with the artist one of the paintings. Paul asked him what his painting was meant to be, to which de Kooning replied, «I don’t know, It looks like a couch, huh?»



Paul McCartney and the artist Willem de Kooning. 1983. East Hampton. Photo by Linda McCartney.


«I thought it looked like a purple mountain," McCartney said later, «he thought it looked like a couch! But the fact that he said it didn’t matter what it was just freed me.» That way, Willem de Kooning helped Paul McCartney to conquer his old block.

In the 60's, Paul McCartney got in with art critic John Dunbar and gallery owner Robert Fraser. Paul also met modern artists Peter Blake and Richard Hamilton who designed covers for The Beatles' late albums. Soon Paul McCartney grew fond of René Magritte's paintings and began collecting them. Magritte’s works had a considerable influence on McCartney’s own paintings, since the latter, inspired by de Kooning, decided to give brushes and paints a try. The famous green apple depicted on The Beatles' record label — Apple Records — also owes its' origin to The Beatles' love for Magritte’s work. In Paul McCartney’s personal collection there is an easel and spectacles of the great Belgian, presented to him by his wife Linda.
  • Paul McCartney. Ancient Connections. 1994
  • Paul McCartney. Twin Freaks. 1990
By the way, the musician’s official website can boast not only a section displaying his pictural experiments, but also an art blog called 'Paintings on the Wall', probably hinting at the paintings in the musician’s collection. After the articles about Paul McCartney’s favourite artists, there are the musician’s remarks about the masters themselves and memories of the moments connected with their art. The musician makes no bones of admitting that his encounter with the works of Tiepolo started with an album of reproductions, accidentally left on an Italian villa rented by his family; that Georgia O’Keeffe's works are more than just erotic; that, finally, the chord that Picasso plays in the Guitarist (apparently The Old Guitarist, 1904), inspired one of the Beatle’s songs, and the discussion of the genius’s obituary with actor Dustin Hoffman — the other one («Picasso’s Last Words (Drink To Me)«).
Paul McCartney. Andy in the Garden. 1990
In 1983 McCartney set up art studios in the US and southern England and began to actively learn the basics of painting. Over the next 15 years he created more than 500 paintings. Surprisingly, all these years nobody knew about the singer’s passion! Only in 1995 the singer decided to show his works to Wolfgang Suttner, the exhibition curator from Westphalia. Four years later, the first exhibition of his works took place, and the United Kingdom saw Paul McCartney’s paintings in 2000: the exhibition at the Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol displayed 70 paintings by the famous Beatle.
Paul McCartney. Pumpkins. 1989
Paul McCartney. Yellow Linda With Piano. 1988
Paul McCartney’s paintings are loved by many, and yet the musician doesn’t sell his works: sure thing, since he was included into the Guinness Book of Records as the most successful musician and composer of the contemporary history. All that modern collectors can get is limited editions colour lithographs signed by the author and sold by the art galleries at a reasonable price of $9,500.
As for the cover of the new album «Egypt Station», it is based on the picture of the same name, created in 1988.
The cover of Paul McCartney’s new album «Egypt Station»

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Based on the materials from p-mccartney.ru, paulmccartney.com and Artchive’s own publications. Cover illustration: a collage from the cover of Paul McCartney’s new album «Egypt Station» and Paul McCarney’s photo; source — festileaks.com. All paintings © Paul McCartney.
Artists mentioned in the article
Willem de Kuning
Biography • Artworks
Rene Magritte
Biography • Artworks
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