Bob Dylan's life and art explored in new documentary

On Wednesday 12th June 2019 we’ll get an exciting new look at Bob Dylan’s life on the road in the Martin Scorsese directed Netflix documentary, Rolling Thunder Revue. Focussing on his 1975 tour, this new documentary pieces together rare clips of Dylan travelling between venues across America.

Already wildly popular at the time, and in demand for stadium performances, the musician wanted to play more intimate shows at out of the way venues. Guests included Joni Mitchell, Beat poet Allen Ginsberg, and Mick Ronson (guitarist from Bowie’s Spiders From Mars) who joined the folk rock legend on this tour that would go down in legend.

With a career that spans six decades, the Nobel Laureate has spent most of his life on the road, playing to crowds all over the world. An accomplished artist as well as musician, much of career has involved staring out of the tour bus window, drawing the landscape as it goes by. 

The Beaten Path collection reflects that very mood. A series of graphics inspired by the landscapes he sees as he criss-crosses America on his “never-ending tour”. It’s the ultimate US road trip, with echoes of his songs and poetry in these mixed media graphics. Turning the mundane into the iconic, the viewer is invited to accompany Dylan on his travels through back streets, alleys and country roads. Reminiscing about a landscape unpolluted by the ephemera of pop culture, fleeting snapshots of America emerge.

It’s an insight into Bob Dylan’s world, whose artistry has transcended every generation and celebrates a vivid manifestation of a country that continues to enthral, charm and captivate. This American landscape is altogether Dylan, fragments from his travels.

In an essay on the collection, Dylan says: “All the iconography is used in a semi-conscious way. I chose images because of the meanings they have for me and patterns can be seen in the repeating images – roads, shacks, piers, automobiles, streets, bayous, railroad tracks, bridges, motels, truck stops, power lines, farmyards, theater marquees, churches, signs and symbols, etc. – all establishing a certain type of compositional value. I would say the purpose is plain, non-experimental or exploratory.”

Martin Scorsese’s Rolling Thunder Revue is sure to shed new light on Dylan’s life as a performer in "an alchemic mix of fact and fantasy". The Nobel Laureate has shaped America’s cultural landscape. The Beaten Path portfolio is a glimpse into the perspective of the man himself.

Posted in News by Simon on 11/06/2019
Last Updated : 11/06/2019