Monday 3 October 2011

Dylan's clones??

Another week, another art copying row. The opening of an exhibition of paintings by Bob Dylan (perhaps *slightly* more famous for his singing) has reportedly lead to a number of accusations of copying. Hosted by the Gagosian Gallery in New York, the exhibition is described as follows:

"Dylan's drawings and paintings are marked by the same constant drive for renewal that characterizes his legendary music. He often draws and paints while on tour, and his motifs bear corresponding impressions of different environments and people. A keen observer, Dylan is inspired by everyday phenomena in such a way that they appear fresh, new, and mysterious.

The Asia Series, a visual reflection on his travels in Japan, China, Vietnam, and Korea, comprises people, street scenes, architecture, and landscapes, which can be clearly identified by title and specific cultural details…"

It seems, however, that rather than being inspired by his travels, the works are also inspired by other artists' works. Fans have point out a number of the works bear remarkable similarities to the works of other artist. These include the following examples:

Bob Dylan’s painting / Léon Busy’s photo

Bob Dylan’s painting / Henri Cartier-Bresson photograph

Bob Dylan’s painting / Dmitri Kessel photo

As the New York Times points out, it is not the first time that Dylan has been accused of "borrowing" as his use of the writings of others in his lyrics has been noted in the past. It would, however, be less controversial if Dylan had credited his source material - After all, all the greats borrow, don't they?? It remains to be seen whether the 'original' artists object to Dylan's works and take any action.

Source: New York Times, 26 September 2011

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