The Beatles still have ardent followers worldwide more than 50 years after they broke up. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr all contributed to the painting that recently sold for $1.7 million, more than the pre-sale estimate of $400,000–$600,000. The artwork was offered at the New York City Christie's "Exceptional Sale." The artwork is titled Images of a Woman and was created in 1966. The band was in Japan for five performances at the Nippon Budokan Arena in Tokyo. But when The Beatles weren't performing live, they were mainly restricted to the presidential suite at the Tokyo Hilton because of the ruckus they created everywhere they went.
Four musicians decided to paint after receiving some supplies as gifts from fans in the area.
The band collaborated on a single canvas instead of working on individual pieces. Each was given a corner, and they anchored the paper beneath a table lamp before coming together in the centre. Each expressed their worldview through a unique interpretation of abstract styles that combined colour and form. When they were finished, they all signed the area where the lamp had been.
Robert Whitaker, the tour photographer, took pictures of the procedure. "They would pause their painting, go perform in a concert, and then decide to return to the original artwork," Whitaker remembered later. "This is the calmest and happiest I've ever seen them." Tetsusaburo Shimoyama, a well-known personality in the Japanese entertainment industry, was the owner of the painting at the time. Later, it would go through several ownership changes before Tracks Ltd UK, one of the top dealers of rare Beatles memorabilia, sold it at Christie's.
The new owner's identity is unknown, but they undoubtedly got away with owning a piece of history. "To have a work on paper that is [a] physical relic, this tangible object with contributions from all four of The Beatles outside of their music catalogue is such a rarity," Christie's specialist Casey Rogers said. It's a piece of art, memorabilia, and likely appeals to a wider range of collectors. It's an excellent narrative work.