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Old Jan 11, 2010, 08:15 AM   #1
Lucy
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Exclamation Artwork of John Lennon $100 MILLION FRAUD, The Dead Don't Create Artwork

Although this says updated August 2009, I've never read anything about it before (well can't remember anyway!) and it is featured on Beatles News today....is it on here somewhere already?? Here is just part of the the blog:

Artwork of John Lennon $100 MILLION FRAUD, The Dead Don't Create Artwork

http://garyarseneau.blogspot.com/200...non-fraud.html

The "Artwork of John Lennon" traveling road show is a "knowing misrepresentation of the truth or concealment of a material fact to induce another to act to his or her detriment," which is one legal definition of -fraud- by his widow Yoko Ono, along with her business associates: Legacy Fine Art Production, Pacific Edge Gallery and others, to cash in at the expense of the unsuspecting consumer and legitimate artists, not to mention John Lennon's true legacy.

Since 1986, Yoko Ono and her business associates have misrepresented more than 35,000 posthumous black-and-white and/or colorized & altered forgeries for sale to the public at $500 to $8,000 or more each, grossing for well over $100 million, as “lithographs,” “serigraphs,” “woodcuts" and "etchings” ie., original works of visual art, not to mention its' deceptive promotion as the "Artwork of John Lennon."

On page 661 of the Seventh Edition of Black's Law Dictionary, -forgery- is defined as: "The act of fraudulently making a false document or altering a real one to be used as if genuine."

John Lennon died in 1980.

The dead don't create artwork.

Yoko Ono began this fraud sometime around 1986 when she hired chromists (someone who copies the artist's work) to forge John Lennon's original black-and-white drawings as original works of visual art ie., lithographs, serigraphs, etchings and woodcuts.

Soon after 1986, Yoko Ono found out these non-disclosed posthumous black-and-white forgeries, even when misrepresented as original works of visual art ie., lithographs, serigraphs, etchings and woodcuts, weren't selling as quickly as she liked, she began to have the forgeries colorized.

Eventually in the late 1990's, Yoko Ono, lost all inhibitions about John Lennon's true legacy and began authorizing not only the colorized forgeries of John Lennon's original black-and-white drawings but their forged alteration into new compositions that John Lennon could not have approved since he was still dead.

To further perpetuate this fraud, Yoko Ono authorized the posthumous application of a counterfeit John Lennon chopmark/signature to each one of these non-disclosed forgeries to create the illusion that John Lennon created and approved them, much less signed them.

The dead don't approve or sign anything.

In other words, Yoko Ono and her business associates wants the public to believe that John Lennon created these non-disclosed forgeries before he died or to just suspend disbelief that despite being dead somehow John Lennon can still come out with new artwork.
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Old Jan 11, 2010, 08:19 AM   #2
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I guess it was featured today because this was also...

John Lennon's other legacy

http://www.californiachronicle.com/a...s/yb/139809282

Imagine a world in which John Lennon spent his days not making music but lounging at home with his young son, Sean, and wife, Yoko Ono, and filling sketch pads with whimsical images.

Sean: "I want a little monkey."

John: "Let's see about that. . . ."

A few pencil strokes later, the famous father presents his work for review.

"Oh dear, is that a monkey now?" he asks his son.

"It's an elephant!"

That drawing of the monkey-turned-elephant, Yoko Ono says from her home in Manhattan, is her favorite in a collection of some 100 works that span Lennon's life and will be on view from Friday through Jan. 17 at Miami Beach Community Church. The three-day exhibit -- We All Shine On: The Artwork of John Lennon -- is presented by Ono as a fundraiser for Adopt-A-Classroom, a nationwide program based in Miami that provides financial and moral support to underprivileged students and teachers.

"He was very precise and had a very good idea of what he wanted to draw, but either way, it was a kind of sense of humor he had, and a relaxed attitude he had about doing it," Ono says.

Lucky for the world, Lennon made great music and brought his dream-like sensibility to his work as a visual artist.

Not many people know this, but before Lennon was a Beatle, he attended the Liverpool Art School for three years.

"He was very proud of that," Ono says. "Then he met people, and he created a kind of little band called the Beatles."

Throughout his life -- he died at 40 -- Lennon produced hundreds of caricatures, illustrations and free-hand drawings that chronicled the world around him, his thoughts and ideas about love and peace. He also humorously depicted some of his songs, including Imagine.

"For somebody so famous and so busy, and still he kept drawing things," Ono says.

From 1975 until his murder in 1980 in the entrance to The Dakota, the historic apartment building on Central Park where Ono still lives, Lennon spent a lot of time at home.

"He was a house husband," says Rudy Siegel of Legacy Productions, which stages the Lennon exhibits. "A lot of the collection comes from his hanging out at home. . . . He drew wherever his head was at -- his relationship with his wife, his love for his son. He was getting ready to turn 40 and see the end of '70s."

The drawings in the exhibition, which has been touring the United States for 17 years, depict the wit and irony with which Lennon viewed the world. In Imagine All the People Living Life in Peace, he paints a man (himself) mounted upon the Earth, bent over in order to peer at the parts he can't see.

Included in the show is the series Real Love: The Drawings for Sean and lithographs signed by Lennon in 1970 and limited-edition prints of his drawings signed by Ono. Some pieces are for sale to benefit Adopt-A-Classroom.

"Whenever I look at the collection, I see that there's a lot of similarity with how he wrote out his songs and how he made his drawings," Siegel says. "Some are very quick and look like a doctor's prescription. Some, he took his time to make. He had a thought in his head, and he needed to get it down on paper. He was able to use a very few amount of strokes or lines, whether it be song writing or art work."

Almost 30 years after Lennon's death, Ono is moved when she speaks of him -- and is proud of the breadth of his work, including his art and activism on behalf of world peace.

"He started in Liverpool and then kind of conquered the world with his music," she says. "Forty is very short."

As to their life together: "We went through a very, very hard time, and the kind of life we had was a roller coaster. By the way, I hate roller coasters, and my blood was drained. . . . I don't need that. . . . There was so much commotion outside and a storm of jealousy."

People ask her all the time what it was like for two artists to live together.

"They ask that question quite often [as if we were] fighting all the time or about to kill each other," says Ono, 76, whose work has been exhibited from time to time in South Florida. "Nothing like that happened. John is an interesting, tough person. If we went through that, he thought it was a waste of time, waste of life. We got each other, thank God. He was always wanting to give water to the plants every day. We watered the plant of love. He always made sure to say he loved me every day."

Then she adds: "Now I see in hindsight that I was a very lucky person."

What would John think of the times now?

"Well, I think, first of all, he would have been very angry that we keep saying 'Love and peace' and 'Peace and love,' and still [the world is] less peaceful, but he would get over that, and try again."
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Old Jan 11, 2010, 09:24 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Lucy View Post
In other words, Yoko Ono and her business associates wants the public to believe that John Lennon created these non-disclosed forgeries before he died or to just suspend disbelief that despite being dead somehow John Lennon can still come out with new artwork.
Very interesting article and he's quite right that dead artists don't create new artworks. It's clearly that these reproductions are simply limited number prints, not original artworks of any kind.

Thanks for posting, Lucy. I haven't seen this earlier either.
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Old Jan 12, 2010, 07:04 PM   #4
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Take this guy's writings with a HUGE grain of salt. Did you check his other entries on his blog? He sounds quite paranoid and repeats himself all the time. He quotes dictionary definitions as if they somehow prove his point. When people criticize him in the comments, he merely attacks them. Also, I notice he doesn't actually provide any of his "scholarly" qualifications to make these determinations. Nor does he provide any rationale for why he's on this crusade to call nearly everything a fraud.
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Old Jan 13, 2010, 05:22 AM   #5
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Yeah i agree - he sounds a little strung out.
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Old Jan 13, 2010, 03:30 PM   #6
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"The dead don't create artwork"? Oh, snap... someone better tell Tupac!
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Old Jan 13, 2010, 05:04 PM   #7
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January 13, 2010

As an artist who creates original lithographs by drawing on a limestone block with a grease pencil who chemically treats the image so I can print my edition, I know what it takes to create artwork.

In 1985, my introduction to lithography accelerated my connoisseurship particularly when I started to personally experience the public`s misconceptions that lithographs, much less mine, were reproductions. At the time, it compelled me to not only explain to the public how I created a lithograph but to back it up with definitions, regulations and laws to support that concept that they were originals. As I was soon to discover too many artists and dealers in the marketplace also had those same misconceptions, resulting in their, with or without intent, misrepresentation of reproductions as lithographs.

Then in 1999, I discovered the misrepresentation of reproductions, much less fakes, as artwork was not exclusive to just artists, art dealers and galleries but also by a good majority of museums, cultural institutions, auction houses and academia. My initial naive attempts to bring that misrepresentation of reproductions as sculpture to the attention of these museums, cultural institutions, auction houses and academic professionals were almost always rebuffed, with very few exceptions, with some of the most nonsensical responses I have ever heard. For example, a director of major foundation refuted me when I said dead men don`t sculpt by stating: "they are posthumously cast but that doesn`t make them reproductions."

Still, not quite believing what I was hearing, I thought there must be something they were not telling me and/or there was something I was somehow not understanding or was missing, even though I really didn`t think so at the time. Nevertheless, to answer those questions, I began researching extensively.

What my research uncovered was a good majority of the museums, cultural institutions, auction houses and academic, for more decades probably than can be counted, have, with or without intent, abused terminology to the point that up is down and down is up. What I mean is artwork is obviously created by an artist, but now a good majority of those institutions and individuals act on the belief that the living presence of the artist is not required to create artwork. A prime example is the so-called Henri Matisse "Small Nude in a Chair" with a given "1924` date in the "Matisse, painter as sculptor" exhibition. The only problem with it, is it was posthumously reproduced in 1958, some four years after Matisse`s death in 1954. Yet, despite being dead, the museum directors, for the different venues for this "Matisse, painter as sculptor" exhibition, write in the exhibition catalogue that Henri Matisse was: "An equally accomplished artist in three dimensions."

In this case, he must have been a poltergeist.

Therefore, I feel morally obligated as a scholar to briefly document as possible for the benefit of the public, legitimate artists and the true legacy of dead artists the facts behind the misrepresentation of reproductions and fakes as original works of visual art and the serious questions of laws, ethics and regulations that these contentious issues of authenticty raise that are all but ignored by many museums, cultural institutions, auction houses and academia."

On page 1178 in the Random House College Dictionary, scholar is defined as: "a learned or eurdite person, esp. one who has profound knowledge of a particular subject."

In other words, when I research and write about contentious issues of authenticity in the art world, I use independent documented definitions I didn`t define, statutory laws I didn`t legislate and published historical references I didn`t publish to make my conclusions.

Those facts are my credentials.

Respectfully,

Gary Arseneau
Fernandina Beach, Florida
garyarseneau.blogspot.com
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Old Jan 13, 2010, 06:40 PM   #8
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So you joined BeatleLinks just to defend yourself?

Why does this not surprise me?
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Old Jan 14, 2010, 06:33 AM   #9
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Wow. Is all I can say. I'm not sure what to make of it really.
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Old Jan 14, 2010, 08:23 AM   #10
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Very interesting.

I don't know all that much about it so should do my research before I saw much more about it BUT are these being sold off as originals or just numbered limited editions?
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 12:37 AM   #11
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Default Artistic integrity

What I find most disturbing isn't the reproduction process but how it compromises the artist's integrity. That's why we have these laws - to protect the artist. John isn't here to have a say in what's happening to his artistic output, he can't protest the use his art is put to from the grave, so the laws are there to protect him in his stead.

You can't attribute new compositions, made up of elements from an artist's output, to him. To exhibit such a piece, in whatever manner reproduced, as original art by that artist is fraud. Sorry, but it is. Just as much as making a new Lennon composition by combining lines from several different songs his catalog and say John Lennon wrote this brand new song!

Another example is the Lennon portrait; now available not only as a black and white drawing, as John made, it but in different colors. To claim them as original Lennon art is a fraud - he didn't colorized his prints in his lifetime. It's like saying that John didn't only write Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, he also wrote Lucy In The Sky With Rubies and Lucy In The Sky With Sapphires etc. You could change the lyrics and melody a bit for each song to individualize them but the resulting composition would not be an original John Lennon song.

For Yoko, an artist herself, to not only condone but actively promote this continuing compromising of John's art is disgusting.
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 01:48 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by hibgal View Post
What I find most disturbing isn't the reproduction process but how it compromises the artist's integrity. That's why we have these laws - to protect the artist. John isn't here to have a say in what's happening to his artistic output, he can't protest the use his art is put to from the grave, so the laws are there to protect him in his stead.

You can't attribute new compositions, made up of elements from an artist's output, to him. To exhibit such a piece, in whatever manner reproduced, as original art by that artist is fraud. Sorry, but it is. Just as much as making a new Lennon composition by combining lines from several different songs his catalog and say John Lennon wrote this brand new song!

Another example is the Lennon portrait; now available not only as a black and white drawing, as John made, it but in different colors. To claim them as original Lennon art is a fraud - he didn't colorized his prints in his lifetime. It's like saying that John didn't only write Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, he also wrote Lucy In The Sky With Rubies and Lucy In The Sky With Sapphires etc. You could change the lyrics and melody a bit for each song to individualize them but the resulting composition would not be an original John Lennon song.

For Yoko, an artist herself, to not only condone but actively promote this continuing compromising of John's art is disgusting.

I agree with and understand what you are saying here but I think before we describe Yoko's conduct as disgusting, we need to have the full story on this in order to see the full picture (no pun intended). So far the only argument has been provided from one side so it is a little unfair to say the least.
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 02:40 AM   #13
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Default Autentication?

Just visit the website selling John's prints, Lucy, or take a look at what Yoko has said in interviews about John's art and that's the other side of the argument. The website selling John's prints are marketing them as being by John's hand, there's no two ways about it.

For instance, under the heading John Lennon as an artist:

WHAT IS THE RED STAMP ON THE PRINTS?
Artists in the Orient sign their works with an individual, patented stamp known as a chop. John Lennon's (to the left), which is hand-stamped in red on each edition, was designed by him to read "Like a Cloud, Beautiful Sound."

WHOSE SIGNATURE APPEARS ON THE LATER EDITIONS?
Each limited edition fine art print is authenticated by John Lennon's embossed signature, the embossed printer and publisher's mark, Yoko Ono Lennon's hand-signature, and John's personal chop mark.


There's only one problem with it - John isn't the person applying the stamp, just as Gary here points out, hence the prints aren't signed or autenticated by John, which this site cleverly doesn't say but still that's cleary the conclusion the suck... eh customer is expected to draw. It may not be strictly illegal but it certainly isn't nice!

Further on the same page:

WHO SELECTED THE COLORS IN THE COLORED EDITIONS?
Continuing a collaboration that was at the heart of their relationship throughout their life together, Yoko Ono, a world-renowned artist herself, chose colors that she felt would enhance the meaning of the original drawings.


See? Yoko is the one personally involved in colorizing the prints, hence she's the one allowing this adulteration of John's work! That's not exactly in keeping with her stated purpose to "re-establishing John Lennon as an important artist of his time." Not on his own merits, he sure isn't.

It's also done with Yoko's permission: "Pacific Edge Gallery has been working directly with the John Lennon Estate since 1988 to present exhibitions of Lennon's art work though out the U.S. and Canada. ... Because of legal agreements with the Estate" it says on the order page.

I rest my case, Your Honor!
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 02:55 AM   #14
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Yeah, and I think the "one side" has not exactly proven his case. I mean, think a bit about the guy, who immediately found our little conversation (what, does he obsessively search for mentions of his name?) and immediately joined BLinks for the sole purpose of defending himself (again using dictionary definitions to do so). You will note that his only professed qualifications to make such judgments are literally "I am a scholar" and "I am a lithographer myself." Neither of these are convincing educational credentials that would lend weight to his accusations, which go well beyond blaming Yoko for chicanery. He accuses major museums of signficant fraud.

Has this one guy discovered something that no other scholars have ever noticed before, or is he perhaps simply a standard Internet gadfly with an axe to grind?
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 03:02 AM   #15
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"Limited edition fine art print"--I think that phrase pretty much sums up the product. No one who knows anything would think they are getting any kind of original piece of artwork, chop mark or not.
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 03:17 AM   #16
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"Limited edition fine art print"--I think that phrase pretty much sums up the product. No one who knows anything would think they are getting any kind of original piece of artwork, chop mark or not.
Well, that may be somebody else's main point but it's not mine. I object on principle to the adulteration of John's original drawings. Regardless of whether it's a print or not, to say "John Lennon made them" is a fraud. He didn't. He's not approved the coloration, he's not approved the rearranging of elements from his drawings into new 'art pieces', he's not approved on releasing these as limit edition prints or anything else. In fact, John has nothing whatever to do with these prints at all except having once made the drawings they're based on. If somebody did that to my art I'd rise from the grave and clobber them!
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 03:30 AM   #17
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Just visit the website selling John's prints, Lucy, or take a look at what Yoko has said in interviews about John's art and that's the other side of the argument. The website selling John's prints are marketing them as being by John's hand, there's no two ways about it.
Okay I haven't actually followed the link you have given here just yet but still I think that this so far has been pretty one sided because there has been no defence raised to the allegations made. I would suspect that this information (on the website you have linked) was around before the fraud allegations came along. So whether I "just" need to visit a website or not, this is still one sided.

And i can't see from what you have quoted that the website has marketed these as from John's own hand. So there ARE two ways about it. Whether these are prints or not, the images WERE created by him. So having his chop or signature on them is not misleading or fraudulent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hibgal View Post
WHO SELECTED THE COLORS IN THE COLORED EDITIONS?
Continuing a collaboration that was at the heart of their relationship throughout their life together, Yoko Ono, a world-renowned artist herself, chose colors that she felt would enhance the meaning of the original drawings.


See? Yoko is the one personally involved in colorizing the prints, hence she's the one allowing this adulteration of John's work! That's not exactly in keeping with her stated purpose to "re-establishing John Lennon as an important artist of his time." Not on his own merits, he sure isn't.
Ummm so what's wrong with this? So what that Yoko has done this? The website has made it most clear that SHE is the one who has picked the colours. It would be fraud to say "John selected these colours". And SO WHAT if this has been done? I don't get why this is so shocking to you.

Surely if you are prepared to part with the money that these things cost to own, you must have a slight interest in John's art so you would perhaps be already aware that he hadn't actually coloured them himself. Just like we don't think that he mixed the ben and jerry's ice cream his face is now on with his own hand.

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I rest my case, Your Honor!
As I said earlier, no defence appears to have been raised to the allegations at this stage so again, this is totally a one sided case! But well done hib, attonery at law!

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"Limited edition fine art print"--I think that phrase pretty much sums up the product. No one who knows anything would think they are getting any kind of original piece of artwork, chop mark or not.
Exactly!!! If someone bought something entitled "Limited Edition fine art print" and thought that John had touched that actual page then they are just stupid....particularly when taking into account these items are pricey.

Honestly I don't know the full story on this and I am prepared to say that yeah there might be something in it all. But so far I still don't think it is fair to say that Yoko has behaved fradulently or in a disgusting manor regarding this.
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 03:35 AM   #18
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He's not approved the coloration, he's not approved the rearranging of elements from his drawings into new 'art pieces', he's not approved on releasing these as limit edition prints or anything else. In fact, John has nothing whatever to do with these prints at all except having once made the drawings they're based on. If somebody did that to my art I'd rise from the grave and clobber them!
Well if this is how John feels in the afterlife, he will have plenty of clobbering to do.

What has he approved since 1980? nothing because he hasn't been with us.

How do you think he'd feel about Rockband? would he like HIS songs being thrashed out by people on plactic guitars? How would be feel about HIS work being stamped around to on stage by circus performers? How would he feel about HIS songs being re-relaeased over and over?

No one claims that he HAS approved the re-arranging or colouring of the images.
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 06:39 AM   #19
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Default Artwork of John Lennon -fraud-

January 15, 2010

As an artist, who creates original works of visual art using stone lithography, I humbly speak with authority that the dead could never create anything in this labor intensive medium.

Therefore, I am grateful to see others who understand that.

As for those, who are still are having a hard time wrapping their arms around the idea that Yoko Ono and her business associates would violate the rules of law and the laws of nature to profit at the expense of the unsuspecting public, let me share two undisputable facts

First, original works of visual art, such as lithographs-etchings-woodcuts-serigraphs and the like, "must be wholly executed by hand by the artist" and "excludes any mechanical and photomechanical processes." (U.S. Customs Informed Compliance May 2006)

Here is the link: http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/trade/leg...mpliance_pubs/

Second, under U.S. Copyright Law 101A, for an original work of visual art to be considered limited, it must be "signed and consecutively numbered by the author."

Here is the link: http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#101

In other words, when John Lennon died in 1980, so did his art career.

In closing, since 1986 John Lennon has been credited by Yoko Ono and her business associates with creating over 50,000 original works of visual art a.k.a. lithographs-serigraphs-woodcuts-etchings. That is five times more work than I have personally created in the last 23 years and I am alive.

John Lennon died 30 years ago. How'd he do that.

Respectfully,

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Old Jan 15, 2010, 08:47 AM   #20
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Default The Artwork of John Lennon exhibit

Okay, what do we say about this? Here's another blogspot about the "imagine peace" the artwork of john lennon exhibit

Now have a look at the picture titled "A Heard Moving"



Isn't it strange that the exact same figures appears on page 62-63 in Lennon's In His Own Write but the composition is quite, quite different?



As an artist I can assure you it's near impossible to reproduce the same image over and over without mechanical help. A hand drawn picture will always show minute differences between the repeated images even when the artist try their hardest to make as exact a copy as possible of the original.

The picture A Heard Moving is taken from the book Real Love - The Drawings for Sean where it clearly states "Adapted by Al Naclerio from drawings by John Lennon" What is an adaptation by another artist doing at a showing of John Lennon's art?

This is more than just colorizing one of John's drawing. To present any of these 'adaptations' as John Lennon's art is an outright forgery!

Can I rest the case now, Your Honour?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg InHisOwnWritePg62-63.jpg (42.2 KB, 79 views)
File Type: jpg LennonHerdMoving.jpg (25.1 KB, 79 views)
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