Why Sir Paul McCartney Keeps René Magritte’s Spectacles on His Desk

Artsy Editorial
Jul 26, 2013 1:33PM

At the height of Beatlemania, Paul McCartney based his band’s record label off a painting of a large green apple by René Magritte—so it’s no surprise the former Beatle fell hard for his birthday gift of the Surrealist artist’s paint-spattered spectacles:

“Linda bought me these for my birthday once,” McCartney said of the gift from his late wife. “Georgette, [Magritte’s] wife, was selling the contents of his studio and Linda bought me the easel and his spectacles and some small linen canvases which I didn’t dare paint on. I’m such a huge fan that was just mega. I was intimidated for weeks about painting on the canvases but in the end I just went, ‘Agghhhh!’ and I did. Then I tried on the glasses which are a very powerful prescription; they’ll give you a headache! What I love about Magritte is he turned the world upside down and inside out in terms of meaning and significance. Science and philosophy and religion are starting to converge on this idea that, whatever hat you put on, you are still you ... Magritte’s specs are a reminder: the world is a jungle of crazy interpretations.”


Artsy Editorial