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Yoko Ono
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Lin-Manuel Miranda

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Yoko Ono is a Japanese multimedia artist, singer, songwriter and peace activist. Her work encompasses performance art, which she performs in both English and Japanese. She is, perhaps, best known for being married to English singer/songwriter, John Lennon of the Beatles, from 1969 until his murder in 1980. She became involved in New York City's downtown artist scene, which included the Fluxus group.

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Grapefruit

"A hybrid of an orange and a lemon, and thus a reflection of herself as 'a spiritual hybrid'."
Engenho Aged Cachaça, Luxardo Maraschino,
Grapefruit Yogurt Punch

25


Grapefruit was an artistic book and a widely regard work of conceptual art written by Yoko Ono, originally published in 1964. In the words of David Bourdon –
"Grapefruit is one of the monuments of conceptual art of the early 1960s. She has a lyrical, poetic dimension that sets her apart from the other conceptual artists. Her approach to art only became widely accepted when other artists such as Kosuth and Weiner made art in a similar style, but made them respectable and collectible."

Granny Smith

"He just grabbed it and bit it and looked at me like, you know..."
Haku Vodka, Tio Pepe, De Pomme Verte,
Clarified Green Apple, Matcha Foam

25


The preview night of Yoko Ono's exhibition in the Indica Gallery in London on 9 November 1966 was visited by John Lennon who had heard from others about her amazing repertoire. It was the same exhibition where Lennon saw an artwork featuring a Granny Smith on top of a plexiglass stand with a brass plaque bearing the word "apple". Intrigued by what he saw, Lennon decided to purchase the piece for two hundred quid immediately. In Lennon's own words: "I thought it was fantastic — I got her work immediately... it was two hundred quid to watch the fresh apple decompose". The art piece was also Lennon's introduction to the world of avant-garde and underground art, something that he was not familiar with at that time.

Lennon was so excited that he took a bite out of the apple on display, before apologising and putting it back in its display. Astonished by his actions, Ono expressed in her own words: "He just grabbed it and bit it and looked at me like, you know, There! You know? I was so furious, I didn't know what to say. How dare this person, you know, mess around with my work?"

The iconic half-bitten apple would eventually inspire one of her most iconic artwork, which is a bronze sculpture of the same apple.

Peas and Love

"Carry a bag of peas, Leave a pea wherever you go."
Tatsumi Gin, Green Peas,
Cucumber Cordial,
Lime, Basil, Fever Tree Soda

28

ZERO PROOF VERSIONSeedlip Garden, Green Peas,
Cucumber Cordial,
Lime, Basil, Fever Tree Soda

21


Yoko Ono wrote "Carry a bag of peas, leave a pea wherever you go." in the winter of 1960. Inspired by "PEA PIECE" (Pun on "peace"), it's typical of Yoko's brand of artistic synesthesia, which impels the performer to use an object (the pea) for any purpose but its intended one. Form, material, color and utility interset Yoko only as values to be subverted, interchanged, or bartered for more novel values. She flung peas at audience members while swinging her hair in musical "accompaniment" during her early days as doyenne of the New York City avant-garde art scene. She smashed them and cooked on canvases. And in her 1960 instructional PEA PIECE, she "planted" — a tactical term reclaimed as a witty agricultural pun — peas in random urban spaces for strangers to find.

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