My American Dream (Marlborough)
Plastic Ono Band/Peace, 2012 Oil on panel, diptych 16 × 16 inches each
Plastic Ono Band/Peace, 2012
Oil on panel, diptych 16 × 16 inches each

This diptych originally appeared in my Hamlet 1999 show, but also reappeared in my Good Leaders, Endangered Species show at Broadway Windows in 2010. Originally Lennon was like Hamlet’s fathers Ghost, seeking redemption and guiding Hamlet, but always too this was an image of two great artists, and the cover (and inside image of Lennon’s fingers configuring the Peace Sign) of one of my favorite albums of all time. Of course John was always a great artist, but I feel that Yoko really taught him what art was about, and post Beatles, they were making a kind of Post Post Modernism together, singing about their own lives with such passion and musical beauty and fervency, that it caused us all to care and relate our own stories onto theirs. Like Manet, who painted those around him with such intelligence and formal finesse that his personal story was political, but had room for beauty and painterly trancendence, in this album, and all subsequent to it, John and Yoko made music of their lives that we all could relate to and love. Yoko of course was a great artist in her own right before she met John, and I love her work that has such openness and optimisum that although it is highly conceptual, many can be moved and think and feel about the ideas she projects so poetically. And of course the Beatles changed culture, no small feat, but did so with the power of Love that helped to drive the music and make it relevant today. All of this extended throughout their careers, but in this album, which is so personal, I find it evocative and moving on every level, and it has taught me how to make work from my own life and hopefully make it relevant as much as any master painter. I love that the Bed In for Peace is one of the best performance pieces to be remembered for generations (and which gave us the "Give Peace a Chance" anthem), and their "War is Over (if you want it)" is one of the great conceptual pieces of all time. I’ve always kept this diptych around me to remind me of what is important for its feng-shui great energy. Their relationship was so pioneering being of mixed race and equal power (and how they defended their relationship and partnership to the world was so moving) and it also reminds me of how to be a great husband to my husband Andrew Madrid, the love of my life.