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2000-Nov-09: USA Today Interview

As his New York art exhibit draws to a close this evening, Sir Paul disclosed in a telephone interview with the USA Today newspaper that his work has even impressed the art experts:

"There was surprisingly little vitriol.  There were only one or two people who totally bitched at me, and they tended to say, 'Someone like him shouldn't be allowed to do this.'  So the baptism of fire is over with. I did the show thinking that if I really hate this off-Broadway experience, if the critics are too tough on me and it's too hurtful, I don't need to do further exhibits.

"I didn't want an exhibition to be based on my celebrity.  I met people who said, 'Oh, I'll give you an exhibition.' When I said, 'But you haven't seen my paintings,' they said, 'It doesn't matter.' But you know what? It does...

"I knew Linda had a great eye for art.  She always supported me
and complimented me. But I had a bit of a block about the idea of someone
like me painting, because I didn't go to art school or have any formal
training. Meeting de Kooning was very liberating. He said things that led
me to realize that I'm allowed to do this."

Comparing his music to his art work, Sir Paul finds painting less restricting:

"It all has to do with freedom and following the accident, which is what
often happens in music. I'll go, 'Hmm, what am I doing here? Eleanor Rigby? What am I talking about? Oh, it must be a song about lonely people.' It happens the same way with painting. The major difference is, once you get into painting, it's a magical process, and you feel like you've gone through a looking glass. You can get lost in it. You can get lost in a song, too, but you still have to be a little bit practical. You can't go out of your vocal range, for instance. With a painting, you can do anything."

Music and painting are not Sir Paul's only interests :

"I just have a lot of interests.   If I listed all the things I like, it would be embarrassing. I'm a Gemini, so it's natural that there are a lot of things I like to do. I used to shrink away from them and think, 'That's not my thing.' Now I've learned that if there's something I really love to do, why should I repress that passion?"

Why isn't Sir Paul willing to sell his paintings?

"I hate to say it, but it's because I don't need the money.  And I am attached to them. They're like my babies. Obviously, most painters paint for a living. Selling is a crucial affair. I'm painting just for my own pleasure."

Of course, no interview would be complete these days  without the obligatory Heather Mills question:

"We're having a lot of fun. She's a nice girl. I feel very lucky to have romance in my life."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)


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