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Bob Dylan - The Beaten Path

Updated: May 4, 2019

Colour me astonished at this incredible body of work.

When artists achieve iconic status in a particular field, other aspects of their artistry can go unnoticed by the masses.  Occasionally some cross over successfully, Cher’s Oscar win for instance, but generally the world-famous multi-talented icon dutifully performs their greatest hits to an adoring crowd while other artistic endeavors remain short-lived.

Dylan is the exception.  Alongside a music career spanning 6 decades producing 37 studio albums, Dylan is also prominent in literature and art.

Bob Dylan, The Beaten Path at the Halcyon Gallery, London, is an accomplished body of work.  It’s a huge collection of drawings, watercolours and acrylics paying tribute to the American social landscape.

From cinematic open roads to bulging donut shop windows, the canvasses share an experience of the USA from a unique viewpoint.  Yet one which is easy to comprehend.

For this series of paintings, the idea was to create pictures that would not be misinterpreted or misunderstood by me or anybody else.”

(a relief after decades of riddling lyrics)

Odd angles and bold colours suggest movement as if we are on a road trip with Dylan, taking in the scenes from a tourbus window.  It’s an accessible ride where our guide shows us absolute Americana via the back roads.  You could be forgiven for thinking that Starbucks culture never took root.

The whole exhibition really struck a chord...

“Staying out of the mainstream and traveling the back roads, free-born style. I believe that the key to the future is in the remnants of the past. That you have to master the idioms of your own time before you can have any identity in the present tense. Your past begins the day you were born and to disregard it is cheating yourself of who you really are.”

The work is beautifully presented at Halcyon Gallery.  My 2 photos are purely for illustrative purposes, I urge you to go and see this exceptional body of work in person.  There is a lot to enjoy here – also drawings and sculpture – this exhibition has the breadth and depth of one who devoted their life to painting.  To think Dylan has accomplished this alongside his extensive music and literature output is simply astonishing.  A must see.

For more information and better images, please click this link —> Bob Dylan The Beaten Path

*All images and quotes belong to Bob Dylan and the Halcyon Gallery and are reproduced with the greatest adoration and respect.