Bob Dylan art to go on view at National Portrait Gallery

Bob Dylan, shown performing in France in 2012, will display his pastel paintings at London's National Portrait Gallery starting in late August.
(David Vincent / Associated Press)

Not even London’s esteemed National Portrait Gallery is immune to the siren song of the celebrity art show. But then again, Bob Dylan isn’t your typical celebrity dabbler.

This month Dylan will present 12 pastel portraits that he created in an exhibition titled “Bob Dylan: Face Value.” The show is scheduled to run Aug. 24 through Jan. 5.

The National Portrait Gallery typically shows art that depicts people from British public life, but the Dylan exhibition represents something of a departure, showing a combination of fictitious characters and people from the musician’s circle of acquaintances.

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A release from the museum said that the portraits “represent characters, with an amalgamation of features Dylan has collected from life, memory and his imagination and fashioned into people, some real and some fictitious.”


Dylan has exhibited his art in museums and galleries before, including a Gagosian Gallery show in New York in 2011 titled “The Asia Series.” As reported in the New York Times, that show created a stir when some observers noticed similarities between Dylan’s art and some well-known photographs that he didn’t take.

The musician has created paintings and drawings his entire life, but he has only recently begun exhibiting them to the public.


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