He is not renowned for his paintings and drawings, but that hasn’t stopped Bob Dylan from dripping his brush into the world of art. Dylan started sketching whilst he was on tour, but recently he has re-imagined these drawings into a series of paintings, called ‘Drawn Blank Series’.
The series of sketches were drawn between 1989 and 1992, and his paintings are colourful, not unlike Van Gogh in composition and style, with broad brush strokes and bold hues. The collection consists of 48 paintings, including Man on Bridge, Side Track, Train Tracks and Woman in Red Lion Pub. The paintings have a common theme, in that Dylan typically keeps the main image of his drawings but quite often likes to change the colour schemes, so that you get varied interpretations of the same drawing.
The series of paintings will be showcased next month at the Midtown Gallery in New York, on May 8th, curated by the Ross Art Group. Mickey Ross spoke to the Daily News, ahead of the exhibition: “Bob Dylan’s mind is a creative mind and that doesn’t stop just at music. It’s reflected in his paintings.”
Ross is undoubtedly proud of the 72 year-old rocker’s work, but others have not been quite so impressed. Art critics have slated the musician’s paintings, with The Scotsman reviewer Moira Jeffrey being particularly acidic: “Rock music’s messiah is painfully mortal when it comes to visual art on the evidence of Dylan’s much-hyped debut exhibition.” Jeffery goes on to say: “This is a man who can’t trust his own hand to the extent, that he copies his old drawings and colours them in. He can’t leave his hotel room. He rarely looks another human being straight in the eye but usually in the breasts or backside.”
This criticism is unlikely to bother the musician, who is offering his works up for sale from $2,500 to $400,000, and if you fork out on the latterly priced piece, you can actually be with him whilst he paints the original sketch.
Dylan has been painting for several decades now, and his works typically feature vistas that have caught his eye whilst travelling on the road. Railroad tracks feature heavily in his works, with additions from people he has encountered along the way.
The Drawn Blank Series collection has travelled the world, stopping off at major galleries in the UK, including Castle Galleries and the Halycon Gallery.
“Drawn Blank Series” will be available to view at the Ross Art Group, 532 Madison Ave. at 54th St., 212-223-1525, May 8-30. For more information, visit postergroup.com. or bobdylanart.com
Pictures courtesy Bob Dylan ‘Drawn Blank Series. Gallery photograph thanks to Merritt Gallery.