New exhibition dogged by criticism

Bob Dylan's latest exhibition has opened to widespread controversy amid claims that he has plagiarised several works.

Bob Dylan has always had an interest in visuals arts. The singer's paintings have been an important part of his career for over four decades, with art classes said to have re-invented his songwriting style in the mid 70s.

Playing his first full tour of South East Asia last year, Bob Dylan took his easel along for the ride. Completing a series of paintings, the singer claimed to be directly inspired by what he saw along the way.

'Asia Series' opened at the Gagosian Gallery in New York last week, but the exhibition has been dogged by controversy. Art lovers have argued that some of the 18 works on display are almost direct copies from photographs taken by artists such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dmitri Kessel and Léon Busy.

To compound the matter, fans Okinawa Soba has claimed that some of the works are directly lifted from his Flickr account - right down to alterations made in Photoshop.

The New York Times brought the issue to public attention, following discussion on the Dylan fan-site 'Expecting Rain'. The newspaper quotes a spokesperson from the Gagosian Gallery as saying: "While the composition of some of Bob Dylan’s paintings is based on a variety of sources, including archival, historic images, the paintings’ vibrancy and freshness come from the colors and textures found in everyday scenes he observed during his travels.”

The gallery also pointed to a quote from Bob Dylan in the exhibition catalogue. "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.”

Bob Dylan has confirmed a number of British shows, details as follows:

6 Dublin The O2
8 Glasgow Braehead Arena
9 Glasgow Braehead Arena
10 Manchester MEN Arena
11 Nottingham Capital Arena
13 Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
14 Bournemouth BIC

Click here to buy tickets for Bob Dylan!

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