Bob Dylan – probably the most famous songwriter of our times – and also a painter. Alongside writing over 500 songs, such as Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door and Blowin’ in the Wind, Dylan has always enjoyed painting and drawing to relax while on tour. Now his visual works on are getting more interest, here’s some more about them:
What does he do? Bob Dylan art, a series of paintings in watercolour and gouache, and drawings in pastel and pencil – figurative works in bold strong colour in an energetic loose style. He paints mostly from life: ‘I’m pretty much interested in people, histories, myth, and portraits; people of all stripes’.
How long has he been an artist? He’s been painting and drawing since the 60s. He said: ‘I would start with whatever was at hand. I sat at the table, took out a pencil and paper and drew the typewriter, a crucifix, a rose, pencils, knives and pins, empty cigarette boxes. I’d lose track of time completely…. Not that I thought I was any great drawer, but I did feel like I was putting an orderliness to the chaos around.’
Has he studied art? In 1974, he spent two months studying art with Norman Raeben in New York. This had a huge influence on him, and “taught me how to see in a way that allowed me to do consciously what I unconsciously felt…”
Do his paintings relate to his music? Most of them don’t directly, but a few drawings appear on his album covers, such as Music from Big Pink (1968).
Is his work collectable? Fairly, some love it because they’re Bob Dylan fans – there’s a growing band of “rock art” lovers.
What sort of prices do the works sell for? His gallery shows have had works priced from £1,000 upwards for gouaches and limited edition prints.
Gallery shows: although he’s been making art since the 60s, he didn’t have his first gallery show till 2007. This first show was Bob Dylan, The Drawn Blank Series in Chemnitz, Germany. After that, he had a show at the Statens Museum in Copenhagen in 2010. In 2011 and 2013 he had shows at Gagosian New York.