Rare opportunity to acquire a scarce original work of art by the world renowned peace activist, artist, and celebrity philanthropist/world citizen, YOKO ONO (1933-). This is an elegant, monochromatic, some might say Asian-art inspired, mixed media work in watercolor, some gouache highlights, and fine gold speckles, the subject appearing as flowers above grass. Inside the mat the art measures 6 1/2" by 6 1/2" (11 1/2" by 11" framed in simple silvery metal). The drawing is signed in red on the front, quite hidden within the image at right center, "YO KO", and is dated there '85. On the reverse backing in Ono's handwriting in tip marker is a dedication to Richard I. Queen (1951-2002), one of the Americans taken hostage at the American Embassy in Tehran, Iran in 1980. The dedication reads "Dear Mr. Queen: I am thrill (sic) to have a new home for this piece of work and hope you'll enjoy also./ Hope to meet soon/ Yours Sincerely/Yoko/3rd August '85". Queen's physical condition deteriorated alarmingly in the early months of the detention, leading Iran's supreme leader, the Ayatollah Khomeini, to order Queen's early release on humanitarian grounds. He was subsequently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, passing away ultimately in his early 50's, after a period of recuperation and some further productive years at other State Department posts. There is much information on the net describing Mr. Queen's place in history, and I have included here a portion of The New York Times obituary. Yoko Ono of course needs little introduction. Her extensive Wikipedia listing is a highly detailed biography of her long and event-filled, often turbulent, life. Perhaps best known as the wife of John Lennon of the Beatles when he was tragically shot in 1980, her notoriety and fame arising from that singular event has overshadowed a productive life as international peace activist, artist and musician, filmmaker, and philanthropist to a wide range of causes. In recent years some of Ono's original art has sold to six figures at major New York auctions. The past five or so years have seen an increasing number of retrospectives of her art work, the largest to date having taken place in February 2013. PROVENANCE: I acquired this piece in Wiscasset, Maine. According to the media accounts, Mr. Queen's parents lived in nearby Lincolnville, Maine, and it was there that he recovered from the effects of his captivity. The art was consigned locally to the Bruce Gamage Auction in Thomaston, Maine, from which the party who sold it to me acquired it. I guarantee the authenticity of the piece.
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