Michael Glover: An admirable homage, but Ringo's shot at art lacks fire of his fellow Beatles' efforts

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The Independent Online

He likes Rembrandt and Van Gogh and, like that other on-the-move rock legend Bob Dylan, he started to make art in one or another of those many anonymous hotel bedrooms during those dreary times betweentimes.

Ringo's art has a brash, childlike simplicity about it, a use of eye-smackingly bright and bold, pop-arty colours, and he goes in for very simple and very direct subject matter: usually the human face, full-on, looking chirpy, brash, often a bit wonkily cartoonish or not too dangerously naughty.

It's childish stuff, a bit giggly silly, and generally he does his art in editions of 100, all signed by the artist, just in case you feel inclined to sell it on again rather quickly. And so we come to his latest creation, a homage to dead John, created to promote the never-endingly admirable cause of world peace, with Ringo holding up two fingers to show us the way.

This is a sculpture of a handgun with a frustratedly knotted nozzle so that it can never be used for violence.

It's painted in a psychedelic, swirly-whirly way. It looks a bit like a tasty, lickable sweet. It's a gun that's been emasculated in the service of peace and celebration.

Unlike his fellow Beatles John and Paul, Ringo didn't go to art school before he got the call from on high to join the greatest band of the era, so his art, by comparison with that of, say, John Lennon himself, is that of the untrained eye.

It's Art Brut, untutored, straight on to the screen (yes, most of it is computer art). John published books of his drawings, and he was a good, perceptive, wackily surreal cartoonist.

Paul's paintings, like Paul himself, are a bit florid and fruity. Ringo just goes at it when he's got a spare moment, and what comes, comes.