A piece of John Lennon’s artistic legacy is about to go up for auction. At the center of Bonhams’ ‘Rock, Pop & Film’ sale on 29 November is the iconic ‘Psychedelic Eye’ mosaic, which the musician commissioned in 1965. The work is estimated to reach six figures.
In 1964, John Lennon and his then-wife Cynthia purchased a mansion in St. George’s Hill in Kenwood, Surrey, UK.
For the outdoor pool, Lennon commissioned a giant 17,000-tile eye mosaic that would look up from the deep end wall, creating a psychedelic effect.
Possibly designed by Lennon himself, the 1965 commission was created by master tiler Joseph Ritrovato, who also installed it.
The Kenwood home was sold in 1968 after the couple divorced, but the hallucination mosaic would remain in the pool until 1984, when it was removed from the pool wall for preservation by Kenwood’s owners at the time. The following year, the panel went on public view at the International Garden Festival at the Royal Festival Gardens in Liverpool. It remained in the gardens until 2002, when it was acquired by its current owners in 2011.
Now, nearly six decades after its inception, the piece will continue to exist hit the block at bonhams On November 29, the auction house came up with an estimate it described as a “six-figure sum”.
“This monumental mosaic is a stunning example of the Beatle’s artistic vision and influences,” Claire Tolle-Moir, Bonhams head of popular culture in London, said in a statement. “Lennon’s Kenwood home in the English countryside was a respite from all the public attention he experienced during the peak of The Beatles’ popularity. Lennon spent his free time near the swimming pool and the mosaic could also be seen from his favorite ‘sunroom’ at the top of the house.
He added: “Kenwood is still privately owned, making it rare to see anything from when John Lennon lived there, making the ‘Psychedelic Eye’ mosaic an important artefact of Beatles history.”
Bonhams’ ‘Rock, Pop and Film’ sale will take place on November 29 in Knightsbridge, London.
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