The authenticity of Bob Dylan’s depictions of scenes seen in his travels around the world, part of his exhibition of paintings and artwork “The Asia Series” now at the Gagosian Gallery in New York City, are up for debate according to the New York Times’ ArtsBeat blog.
… Since the exhibition opened on Sept. 20, some fans and Dylanologists have raised questions about whether some of these paintings are based on Mr. Dylan’s own experiences and observations, or on photographs that are widely available and that he did not take.
Possible non-Dylan sources include images by photographers Henri Cartier Bresson, Dmitri Gessel and Leon Busy.
The post includes a blurb from the Duluth-born folk star from the exhibition catalog.
“I paint mostly from real life. It has to start with that. Real people, real street scenes, behind the curtain scenes, live models, paintings, photographs, staged setups, architecture, grids, graphic design. Whatever it takes to make it work. What I’m trying to bring out in complex scenes, landscapes, or personality clashes, I do it in a lot of different ways. I have the cause and effect in mind from the beginning to the end. But it has to start with something tangible.”
This is like that time a a poem by a young Robert Zimmerman about a dead dog was unearthed by a former summer camp mate and was set to be auctioned off by Christie’s. Then everyone found out the poem wasn’t an early sign of literary genius, it was actually an early sign that he knew the lyrics to an old country song by Hank Snow.