The art of Paul McCartney

Small details from three paintings

From left to right: My eye, 2001, Big mountain face, 1991, Boxer lips, 1990

24 May 2002 - 4 August 2002

"John and I spent many a pleasant afternoon wandering around Walker Art Gallery when we were young, so going back to the 'Pool with my paintings will complete some kind of circle for me and I'm really excited about it" - Sir Paul McCartney

It is fitting that the first comprehensive exhibition of Paul McCartney's paintings in Britain, should be at Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool - a mark of the affection and loyalty that Paul feels for his hometown. It's an extraordinary show, highlighting the artistic talents of the world-famous musician, and revealing McCartney's free-flowing creativity.

The exhibition includes more than sixty paintings created during the last twenty years. Many works in the show are new and have never been previously exhibited or published, including natural wood sculpture and photo pieces.

This highly varied collection shows Paul's intuitive approach and love of free association. The paintings reveal a real sense of spontaneity and a natural empathy with the medium. They are a reflection of his humour, his inspirations, and the different periods in his life.

Painting of a face

Paul is aware that he risks being seen as a 'celebrity painter' - a label that he finds uninteresting, but that he knows (as one of the most famous men in the world) it will be difficult to evade. His decision to exhibit comes from a genuine desire to progress as a painter - to do something new and challenging and to get a 'little feedback', just as anyone who has been painting seriously for twenty years might.

His aim is not to win critical acclaim but to further his artistic and creative output - to take risks, break conventions and flout expectations. It is a typical of a man who has already pioneered popular music, ventured into the genres of film, soundtracks and orchestral music and supports the wider arts industry through projects like the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.