Perhaps you're gearing up to watch Todd Haynes' biopic "I'm Not There," which portrays the life of Bob Dylan with a varied cast of actors (male and female) all playing his role. Or maybe you've considered buying the soundtrack to the film, which pulls together various artists performing Dylan's iconic songs. It seems like every day there's a new way to appreciate the creative works of Mr. Dylan, so why not put aside his lyrics for a moment and look at his art instead?
It seems that that was the premise of the Art Museum Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, in Chemnitz Germany, in their exhibition of 120 of Bob Dylan's paintings in their current "Drawn Blank" show. It's the first time that Bob Dylan, artist, is in the context of paint, not music.
The story behind it is even better. When museum director Ingrid Mössinger bought her first Dylan album last year, she was inspired by the artistry in his lyrics. Intrigued, she tracked down his biography and learned that he'd published a book of drawings in the early nineties. At the time, he wrote that he hoped to "eventually complete" his sketches, so she reached out to him and encouraged him to finish. Within two days he responded, surprised at her interest. He writes in the museum's materials:
"I was fascinated to learn of Ingrid's interest in my work, and it gave me the impetus to realize the vision I had for these drawings many years ago. If not for this interest, I don't know if I even would have revisited them."
So earlier this year, Dylan copied the drawings and used them as the backdrop for watercolor and gouache paintings. He created some 322 works in two months' time, many of which are variations on the same pencil print.
Tourists have been flooding to small city in Saxony to check out Dylan's paintings (you can see a slideshow the works online at the Wall Street Journal, or check out the audio tour
at the Guardian Online) and are searching for secret links to his
lyrics. Theory has it that the painting "Woman in Red Lion Pub" is the
same bewitching female from the famous song "Just Like a Woman" (1966).
Take a look at the gallery, and let us know what you think.
Image: Man on a Bridge (2007), Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz museum