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OTRC: Bob Dylan paintings stir controversy

Bob Dylan appears at the 2010 Azkena Rock Festival in Spain in June 2010. (flickr.com/photos/denaflows)

To some, Bob Dylan's paintings from a collection called "The Asia Series," which are on display at a New York gallery and are said to be part of the singer's "visual journal" through Japan, China, Vietnam, and Korea, appear familiar.

Several critics are saying that the rock singer's paintings resemble pre-existing photographs by artists such as Dmitri Kessel, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Leon Busy. Dylan has not commented publicly.

A press representative for the Gagosian Gallery told the New York Times: "While the composition of some of Bob Dylan's paintings is based on a variety of sources, including archival, historic images, the paintings' vibrancy and freshness come from the colors and textures found in everyday scenes he observed during his travels."

His paintings have been on display at the Gagosian Gallery in New York since September 20 and the exhibition is set to be taken down on October 22.

Paintings in "The Asia Series" depict people, street scenes, architecture, landscapes and the exhibition also contains "more cryptic paintings of personalities and situations, such Big Brother and Opium, or LeBelle Cascade, which looks like a riff on Manet's Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe but which is, in fact, a scenographic tourist photo-opportunity in a Tokyo amusement arcade," the gallery's website states.

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