left/concept: designapplause | original art: designapplause | execution: designapplause
If you haven’t heard, Bob Dylan’s exhibit of his paintings titled “The Asian Series” which can be seen at New York’s Gagosian Gallery is in the news. His fan club blog, Expecting Rain, appears to have discovered and announced that the paintings are very near look-a-likes to photos found online. Anything wrong with that?
left/boys playing chess in front of the trocadero hotel | dmitri kessel || bob dylan installation view | click to enlarge
The following figures are for dramatic affect, you know, creative license: media is feeding (1%); savants are chuckling (5%); lawyers are chuckling (5%); fans defending (10%); critics are opining (15%); the rest, wtf—guessing (64%). DesignApplause feels its mission is to raise awareness by asking the tough questions and providing links to resources to ease the mind.
[DA] What were Dylan and Gagosian thinkin?
a> Gagosian thinks they can slip one past the public
b> Dylan thinks he can slip one past both Gagosian and the public
c> Gagosian and Dylan weren’t thinkin
d> Gagosian and Dylan and fan club actually plan this for a bigger media blast
e> All of the above
[DA] What best describes Dylan’s creative process on The Asian Series?
a> entire project done in complete isolation so no one said Bob are you sure you want to do this?
b> bounced ideas off John Birch Society
c> bounced ideas off Richard Prince
d> bounced ideas off Gagosian
e> followed business as usual borrowing from this and that
[DA] Each of BD’s paintings is $350,000 with only four left to purchase. There was a private showing. Which painting below is worth more?
left/very strong resemblance to campbell soup can | right/very strong resemblance to an okinawa soba photo | click to enlarge
a> painting on left, the artist is dead
b> painting on left, the painting is older
c> painting on left, not done by a folk singer
d> painting on left, is more well known
e> all of the above
[DA] How many buyers will be returning their purchases when they find out that their BD paintings were non-original images? btw—small torn campbell soup pepper pot can painting (62) sold for $11.8M in 2006
a> all of them
d> none of them
e> flipping them for $500k
You know what’s a bit over the top? Richard Prince wrote the text for “The Asia Series” catalog. Prince and Gagosian lost a suit with French photographer Patrick Cariou. Coriou accused Prince of copying 41 of his photographs. We’re told the catalog has since been shelved. Is this serendipity? [Ed: Gagosian confirms catalog is on sale at gallery 5 Oct]
Let’s close with a quote from Solomon, “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”
dates: 20 september | 22 october
venue: gagosian gallery | 980 madison avenue new york city