8 Dec

Armed only with a questionable command of the mouse, a passing acquaintance with MS Paint and up to five minutes of his undivided attention, Ringo Starr proves there is absolutely no beginning to his talents with magnificent “computer art” works such as this one, titled ‘No, No, No.’

Ringo Starr’s ‘No, No, No’. Indeed, Ringo. Indeed. The word NO definitely comes to mind.

I’m really not joking. Printouts of this truly are being sold as a limited edition Ringo Starr art work. Particularly skilful and painterly use of the gradient fill in this one, I think you’ll agree, and a keen eye for the nuances of human physiology and expression.

Ringo says: “I started in the late nineties with my computer art. While I was touring it gave me something to do in all those crazy hotels you have to stay in on the road.” Apparently it never occurred to him that he could get out of the hotel and see everything the world has to offer a multimillionaire celebrity. Or even get out of his room and avail himself of the facilities that those “crazy hotels” tend to have available for multimillionaire celebrities. But hold on, wait, something even more troubling arises when we fully parse this quote: Ringo Starr was touring? How on earth did such a thing happen, anyway, and what sort of twisted nutcase pays to see a Ringo Starr gig?

He also says: “Most of the titles for my pieces arrived because on computer you have to call them something, so I have. The easy way to look at it is, if it has a hat on- it will probably be called Hat Man.” Zen, man. Really Zen. He’s such a raw artistic spirit, he’d prefer never to name his files. So would we, actually, because that would mean he’d never be able to find them again. He’s like some kind of idiot savant, without the savant part. I don’t think this stuff even counts as outsider art. Henry Darger would take one look at this shit and know it was the product of a mind gone profoundly wrong. There’s a photo of Ringo on the website where he even appears to have forgotten how many fingers are required to do the trademark Beatles peace sign. I call that photograph ‘Doolally Has-Been’ because that’s the main subject I’m seeing in it. Although I do apologise to Ringo’s loved ones if he really has got senile dementia and this “computer art”’ is the only way to keep him mellow and distract him from climbing out of the window to run off down the road so he can get on the National Express back to Liverpool with no trousers or underpants on. Again.


Celebrity Art claims to be “a truly eclectic collection of fine art” by “… celebrities not usually known for their visual side.” My view of it differs slightly. I’d say it’s an embarrassing and random dog’s dinner of tossed-off ephemera by rich people who’ve become so disconnected from reality that they genuinely think their childish, inept daubings are even worth the canvas they’re painted on. Incidentally, Celebrity Art, did you ever stop to think that there might be a very good reason why these celebrities are not usually known for their visual side? I’d cogitate on that one for a while, if I were you.

The worst and most depressing thought of all is that this business and its sketchy, skeletal website, resembling a slapdash phishing effort designed by colourblind Albanian gangsters who just upgraded to Windows 95 and haven’t quite got to grips with all the new features yet… it’s all completely real. As far as I can tell it’s not a satirical attempt to humiliate and tarnish the reputations of John Lennon, Lady Paul McCartney, Tony Bennett, David Bowie, et al.

Most of the art industry runs like this, of course. It’s all about “celebrity art” in one way or another. The real players are just much, much better at putting lipstick on the same kinds of worthless, talentless pigs.

Actually Tony Bennett’s painting is merely dull and crap rather than blatantly, offensively ridiculous. I’ve seen as bad or worse by so-called “Fine”, contemporary painters in supposedly credible galleries. According to the site, his work is “highly sort [sic] after.” Hey, Pjeter and Tarik, you know that Windows 95 has a spelling and grammar checker, right?

I met Tony Bennett once when we were both (bizarrely, I know) being interviewed on the same radio show. He looked a bit like a baked Muppet made of beef jerky and wool. I told him I’d just had a book published. He looked at me for a moment and then bellowed “KEEEERIST KID, HOW OLD ARE YA?”




    […] Gap in the market, there. The only work of The Hairy Cornflake’s that isn’t obviously a Ringo Starr-esque bit of Photoshop filter fuckery is apparently done in homage to Robert Palmer’s seminal 80s […]


    […] Sgt. Pepper’s Wonky Mousemat Hand: the MS Paint oeuvre of Ringo Starr, apparently inspired by the artistic stylings of twelve year olds on Reddit. […]

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