Bob Dylan – New Accusations Of Visual Plagiarism After photo sources revealed
The musician and poet Bob Dylan is clearly recognized as one of the most influential cultural figures of the 20th century. He has sold over 110 million records around the world. His songs have been covered by more than 3,000 artists from Duke Ellington to The Rolling Stones, from Guns N’ Roses to Stevie Wonder. His artistic achievements have been recognized throughout the world but little has been known about Bob Dylan the visual artist, although clearly he has mixed for the last 5 decades with artists from Warhol to Hirst .
Dylan’s latest evolution into an exhibiting painter has recently been tainted by accusations of plagiarism. “The Asia Series,” billed as “a visual reflection on his travels in Japan, China, Vietnam, and Korea,” by the Gagosian Gallery NY has been slammed by the press and public as mere copies, after being exposed as copies of photographs of work some by well known 20th century master photographers. One of his canvases titled Trade, depicts two elderly men talking with one of them holding money, is based on a 1948 photograph by iconic photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. Another painting “Opium” shows a dark-haired woman dressed in red lying in an opium den . The painting based on a colour photo by Leon Busy’s taken in1915. A third painting “The Game”, observes three men playing a board game,based on a 1950 photograph by Dmitri Kessel.
None of this information was disclosed in the catalogue and the exhibition was mounted as original paintings by Bob Dylan, billing it as a “visual journal” of Dylan’s travels through Asia. They have since redefined it as a “visual reflection,” after a Dylan fan site uncovered blatant examples of visual plagiarism pointing out that he may have borrowed directly from other artists photographic compositions. This is nothing new in the art world or the Gagosian empire, Warhol based on many of his best known images on photos by news photographers and Damien Hirst has been accused of stealing for many years.