Bob Dylan images: three to savour

Bob Dylan is both subject and source of top quality rock art: I come across numerous Bob Dylan images – of and by him – every week.

Here are three recent striking examples – a photograph, a poster and a dedicated exhibition.

Bob Dylan images #1: Richard Avedon photograph

Bob Dylan photograph by Richard Avedon

Bob Dylan, © Richard Avedon 1965

This delicious 1965 photograph is the star attraction of Richard Avedon People, a new exhibition at the Art Gallery of Western Australia in Perth, 2 August-17 November 2014.

Bob Dylan images #2: Blowin in the Mind poster

Psychedelic poster, Bob Dylan

Blowin in the Mind, Mr Tombourine Man. ©Martin Sharp/Big O Posters 1967

There are innumerable Bob Dylan posters in circulation. This is one of my favourites – Blowin in the Mind, Mr Tombourine Man by Martin Sharp, Big O Posters, 1967.

It was displayed – and salivated over – at a splendid small exhibition, The Great Refusal, Protesting 1948-84, at the Hayward Gallery, London, last November.

Why is the poster so potent? Because it transports you immediately to a time and place – the Summer of Love, California.

Thankfully, Bob Dylan wasn’t really part of that scene. The poster perpetuates a myth. It doesn’t matter, though, this is art, not documentary.

Bob Dylan images #3: Face Value, National Portrait Gallery, London

Bob Dylan pastel portraits

Bob Dylan: Face Value, 2013 exhibition, National Portrait Gallery, London. © Gerald Smith 2013

Bob Dylan: Face Value was a lovely one-room exhibition of a dozen sombre pastel portraits by the musician at the National Portrait Gallery, London in 2013. Proof, if any were needed, that Bob Dylan artwork has now been accepted into the artistic canon.

If you missed the exhibition, you can still buy the catalogue, Bob Dylan: Face Value (£25), from the National Portrait Gallery.

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