With a 20-page thread, many first-time (and long-time) visitors are getting lost. I also had a record number of PMs asking various questions. Here's a timeline I created with links that should be useful as a basic guide to the story to date. Feel free to offer corrections. Johanna, feel free to edit as you see fit with corrections/additions or if any of the links are broken.
The Gagosian Gallery announces Dylan’s “The Asia Series" will open at their Madison Avenue gallery on 20 September and run until 22 October.
Several images are posted on the gallery site, including a mysterious reproduction of a Life magazine cover ascribed to “Bob Dylan.” The cover seems an exact duplicate of the one published by Life on February 25th 1966 with the exception of several new lines of text, including “The Shadow,” The Mask,” and The “Bowl.”http://www.gagosian.com/artists/bob-dylan/#/images/4/
The gallery issues a media release that noting that the works would offer “firsthand depictions of people, street scenes, architecture and landscape” with evocative titles like “Mae Ling,” “Cockfight,” “The Bridge” and “Hunan Province.” as well as “ more cryptic paintings often of personalities and situations, such as ‘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.”
9/7/11 “The Little Hokum Rag” publishes a blog post with images indicating that Dylan’s “Opium” painting was copied from a 1915 photo by Leon Busy. http://amycrehore.blogspot.com/2011/09/ ... nting.html
A comment following the original post notes that the “Asia Series” also uses a photograph based on Bruce Gilden's Japan Asakusa, (1998) image: http://blog.magnumphotos.com/images/NYC7349.jpg
9/20 After some research, I discover that the “Cock Fight” painting is based on another Magnum image by Jacob Aue Sobol, titled “THAILAND. Bangkok. 2008”http://www.magnumphotos.com/C.aspx?VP3= ... &CT=Search
9/21 – A Gagosian representative responds to an inquiry about the Life image from “AndoDoug” that, “It is in fact a Bob Dylan painting and part of the exhibition.”
9/23 – Several more photos are discovered to be the basis of “Asia Series” paintings:http://www.life.com/image/tlp720230
(Note the image comes from Life magazine)http://www.flickr.com/photos/24443965@N08/2358252690/http://www.magnumphotos.com/C.aspx?VP3= ... &CT=Search
An “Okinawa Soba” posts on the Expecting Rain board after discovering it as the source of the traffic coming to his Flickr gallery. He notes that several of his vintage photos – all in the public domain – appear to have been used as the reference source for “Asia Series” paintings”
9/24 – An Expecting Rain board member discovers that one of the paintings from Dylan’s earlier “Brazil Series” appears based on a photo…http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/fi ... -2-1-l.jpg
9/26 – With the exhibit live and the catalog released, the Life painting is notable by its absence, appearing in neither. The story escapes the Expecting Rain bubble when an article is published in the online New York Times. The story quickly goes viral and is picked up by media and bloggers worldwide.http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/ ... -gagosian/
The Gagosian Gallery issues a a statement: “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.”
Dylan’s representatives have no comment.
9/27 – A Magnum representative replies to my inquiries with the statement that “Magnum and Bob have a long relationship,” citing the use of Magnum photos on several Dylan albums. He refuses to discuss specifics about the “Asia Series,” but responds to my speculation that the respective photographers whose work were used have been compensated as a, “fair inference.”
9/29 – bobdylan.com releases the John Elderfield interview with Dylan, originally published in the catalog.http://www.bobdylan.com/elderfield