Christopher Kovacs - Fine Art
June 25, 2024   12:41 pm NL Time

With or Without You

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With or Without You


Status of Original Painting – Private Collection

Size: 10 x 21  inches

Price: Inquire

Medium: Watercolour on 300 lb Arches


Here I depict Bono and Edge of U2 performing at Mile One Centre (now renamed Mary Brown’s Centre) in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Do you remember that concert??? Of course not, they’ve never performed here (yet), and so this is wishful thinking. I have seen them in concert in Toronto. They’re one of my all-time favorite bands, with all their studio and many live albums in my collection.

I’ve been doing an intermittent series of paintings of live musicians that I originally categorized as “Newfoundland Music.” Last year I branched out to paint Pete Townshend of The Who in “One With the Music.” I thought that was a one-time effort (portraits aren’t my forte), but that painting prompted a request that resulted in “Beatles on the Rooftop.” And here I am again with another depiction of rock musicians performing live. I think this is becoming a thing. At some point I’ll have to rename that category “Live Music.”

I started by roughing in the faces to make certain I got those right (see below) and then I filled out each figure completely. After that, I did the background followed by touch-ups to the faces and bodies.

I often receive comments about the high level of detail in my work, which you can’t appreciate fully in the reduced resolution of these on-line images. If you could, you’d be able to see individual chest hairs on each of Bono and Edge…and I’m not joking.

My working title for this was simply “Bono and Edge” or maybe “Bono and Edge at Mile One,” but my partner Lisa suggested “With or Without You,” which is the title of their most popular song from arguably their best album, The Joshua Tree. Other favorites of mine include “All I Want Is You” and “Hawkmoon 269,” both from Rattle and Hum; “Mysterious Ways” and “One” from Achtung Baby; “Miss Sarajevo” (a duet with the late Luciano Pavarotti) on Duals – but there are really far too many to list.

The reference images come from Alamy, which permits certain copyrighted images to be used as reference material by an artist. The original photos were taken by Sam Kovak.

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