"Can I get a little help from my friends?"
Fumbling to get the mike working, Ringo Starr used a little Beatles humor to let the crowd know it hadn't escaped him why they were at his art show.
The 71-year-old drummer's latest round of MS Paint art had its private opening at Pop International Galleries in New York on Monday. His show, "Ringo 2012" (which we previewed last week), takes an amusingly childlike approach, inherent to the medium he uses to make it -- Hat Man, Elephant Foot, Bad Finger (this writer's personal favorite) and other such literally titled works, priced in the low-to-high four digits, lined the walls of the gallery. Throughout the evening, the pieces were torn off the walls, apparently like they were being stolen, and presumably so they could be handed to whoever bought them.
HuffPost Culture snagged a quick minute with the startlingly thin, youthful Beatle on the street before the show, where the press Q&A session chaotically took place (whosever idea it was to put one of two living Beatles on the street and see what happens? Brilliant!). Aside from a few eagle-eyed superfans, the crowd was tame, and New York's summer thunder cooperated.
Ringo Starr greets the press outside Pop International Galleries in Soho, New York on Monday, June 25
Ringo told us he'd never expected for his art -- which was borne out of tour boredom -- to translate into a second career. Like a true musician, he sees it more as merchandise.
"Neal Glaser, the guy who puts it together, said, 'do you want to do something with it,' and we said "yeah, let's sell it at the gigs,' it's merchandise, and it's odd, and it goes to the charity," he said, referring to his Lotus Foundation.
As an MS Paint expert, we were curious -- does The Beatles drummer have any tips or tricks for fellow enthusiasts?
"Well, just do it, that's all I did," Ringo said. "Now you can do it, I can do it, on the computer, on the iPad or the iPhone. And it's so great, you never have to be without it."
As Ringo made his way down the press line, what became most apparent was how skilled he's become at uncomplicated answers that don't give an ounce of himself away. When a man shouted to Ringo as he walked away, "Who's your favorite artist?", his one-word response -- Rembrandt -- could just as easily have been earnest or deadpan.
Click through Ringo's artwork below: