I was completely blown away by the Bob Dylan painting and sculpture exhibition at The Halcyon Gallery which continues until December 11. Blown away, because (a) I’m not a great Bob Dylan fan and (b) I had no idea that he was also a talented arc welder !!
“The Beaten Path” is an absolutely amazing collection and insight into the workings of Bob Dylan’s mind. Sketches taken from his down time whilst gigging made into full size paintings reveal a United States of America that time has forgotten – the feel of the pieces very much reminded me of my good friend Bill Nelson who shares a love of outlandish American automobiles and the culture of the 1950’s – probably emanating from Jack Kerouac and The Beat Generation. It occurred to me that Dylan’s nostalgic paintings of a world of “Happy Days” cafes, suspension bridges, hot dog stands, art deco motels and a thriving industrial landscape perhaps explains the Trump triumph. A pity Dylan did not run for President – he has better catchphrases than our Donald , if a little longer …
“When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose” – Bob Dylan
“Make America Great Again” – Donald Trump
I’m not really a big Dylan fan but started to take a much greater interest in his work when he started making Radio programmes. He has a deep ironic wit not seen since the time of John Peel. I was blown away by the socio-economic observations that Dylan makes in his painting, fuelled by his wit and a degree of irony. None more so in this painting of the Paradise Motel where Dylan wryly observes “Vacancy Sorry” in an early version of “Trip Advisor”:
I did not know that Dylan has an arc welding kit in his backyard (as of course we all do!! :-). It turns out that he has an extremely rare and creative talent for fusing everyday tools into beautiful sculptures. Dylan is seen working away at one of his pieces below:
The exhibition has something for everyone, from a glorious table top book of the artworks at £55 through to a flight case containing the same with individually produced “stickers” of the various places that Dylan stayed as a timepiece and other artefacts from the “Route 66” era.
Check out the exhibition which runs until December 11 at The Halcyon Gallery.
Peter Cook leads Human Dynamics and The Academy of Rock. Author of 7 books on business leadership, creativity and innovation acclaimed by Tom Peters, Professors Charles Handy, Adrian Furnham and Harvey Goldsmith CBE. His latest book can be found at Bloomsbury.com