DALLAS , Oct. 30 -- Three wars. Three photographers. Still the same hope for peace.
The famous piano on which John Lennon composed "Imagine" in 1971 will be shipped to the United States by superstar musician George Michael as the centrepiece of a specially curated photography exhibition celebrating peace. This is the first time the piano has left the United Kingdom. Michael bought the piano, considered the most expensive piece of pop memorabilia, at an auction in October 2000 reportedly for 1.45m pounds sterling(US$2.1 million).
The work of three photographers, Don McCullin, Gabriele Basilico, Tomas Munita, that have confronted themselves with war zones will accompany the piano display at Goss Gallery in Dallas, along with the "Gimme Some Truth" video of John Lennon playing the song for the first time to wife Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band.
The show will premiere in Dallas on December 5 and continue through January 13, 2007. Plans call for a tour of the exhibition throughout the United States and Europe with a schedule of venues to be announced in the near future.
Goss Gallery is a leading contemporary modern art gallery and is owned by George Michael's long-time partner, Kenny Goss. Michael and Goss conceived the show to underline their belief in delivering a theme of world peace to the people who will see the art, using the notoriety of the piano to draw attention to that message. Goss Gallery Director and Curator Filippo Tattoni-Marcozzi carefully selected the photographers and images for the "Imagine"show, matching the emotions of the art with the overriding theme of peace.
In conjunction with the show, six images of the piano, each in a limited edition print series signed by the photographer, will be available through Goss Gallery. The images were taken by the United Kingdom's noted celebrity photographer Richard Young, who has photographed iconic stars in stage, screen and music. A collector's edition catalogue of the show will also be available for sale exclusively through the gallery with net proceeds, estimated to be 60% of the cover price, to benefit amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research.
McCullin is one of the most famous war photographers of his generation. McCullin has witnessed and reported from almost every conflict in modern history, from the 1960s in Cyprus , the Congo , Vietnam and Biafra, to the 1970s in Northern Ireland and Cambodia , to the 1980s in Lebanon.
Basilico is one of today's best-known documentary photographers in Europe. Focusing on cities and industrial landscapes as his fields of investigation, Basilico was one of the first western artists to be invited to Beirut in 1991 to document the desolation left behind by 10 years of civil war.
Munita represents the young generation of photojournalists. Working with the Associated Press, his images in Afghanistan between 2002 and 2005 present the viewer with a unique compassion and lyrical composition.
The song, "Imagine", was first released in 1971 and was already John Lennon's most famous post-Beatles song, but it took on a whole new life of its own following Lennon's murder in December 1980 . When first released, "Imagine" reached No. 3 in America and No. 6 in Britain but after Lennon's death in December 1980, the song gave him a posthumous No. 1.
Lennon bought the piano in December 1970, had it delivered to studios at his home in Tittenhurst Park in Berkshire, composed and recorded "Imagine" on it. The piano is a simple upright style instrument, not the white piano which graced the cover of the album. In 1992, it was bought by a private British collector who put it up for auction in October 2000 .
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