Saturday, December 19, 2009

Dylan Show Coming Soon

In January I'm scheduled to have three small art shows here in the Twin Ports. The year will open with setups at Starbucks in Downtown Duluth and at the Superior Library. Mid-month I'll also display additional works at the Thirsty Pagan, a microbrewery and eatery three blocks west of The Red Mug in Superior.

The Starbucks show will be a collection of primarily newer paintings called The Many Faces of Ennyman. For some reason I've had a long fascination with faces, so it is a recurring theme in much of my work.

The showcase at the Superior Library will be comprised entirely of Dylan pieces, with the title of this exhibit being Dylan Daze. The irony of it all is that the space is limited and the 2007 Dylan profile which proved to be the trigger event for all these new Dylan works may not be on display due to lack of room. Despite the space shortcomings there will be plenty to see.

The painting above is based on the cover photo of Dylan's third album, The Times They Are A-Changing. A primary theme that runs through decades of Dylan's songs is dignity, introduced here in songs like the "Ballad of Hattie Carroll" and "Only a Pawn In Their Game." Year later he recorded a song by this name, which is offered here to accompany this recent painting.


Fat man lookin' in a blade of steel
Thin man lookin' at his last meal
Hollow man lookin' in a cottonfield
For dignity

Wise man lookin' in a blade of grass
Young man lookin' in the shadows that pass
Poor man lookin' through painted glass
For dignity

Somebody got murdered on New Year's Eve
Somebody said dignity was the first to leave
I went into the city, went into the town
Went into the land of the midnight sun

Searchin' high, searchin' low
Searchin' everywhere I know
Askin' the cops wherever I go
Have you seen dignity?

Blind man breakin' out of a trance
Puts both his hands in the pockets of chance
Hopin' to find one circumstance
Of dignity

I went to the wedding of Mary-lou
She said "I don't want nobody see me talkin' to you."
Said she could get killed if she told me what she knew
About dignity

I went down where the vultures feed
I would've got deeper, but there wasn't any need
Heard the tongues of angels and the tongues of men
Wasn't any difference to me

Chilly wind sharp as a razor blade
House on fire, debts unpaid
Gonna stand at the window, gonna ask the maid
Have you seen dignity?

Drinkin' man listens to the voice he hears
In a crowded room full of covered up mirrors
Lookin' into the lost forgotten years
For dignity

Met Prince Phillip at the home of the blues
Said he'd give me information if his name wasn't used
He wanted money up front, said he was abused
By dignity

Footprints runnin' cross the silver sand
Steps goin' down into tattoo land
I met the sons of darkness and the sons of light
In the bordertowns of despair

Got no place to fade, got no coat
I'm on the rollin' river in a jerkin' boat
Tryin' to read a note somebody wrote
About dignity

Sick man lookin' for the doctor's cure
Lookin' at his hands for the lines that were
And into every masterpiece of literature
for dignity

Englishman stranded in the blackheart wind
Combin' his hair back, his future looks thin
Bites the bullet and he looks within
For dignity

Someone showed me a picture and I just laughed
Dignity never been photographed
I went into the red, went into the black
Into the valley of dry bone dreams

So many roads, so much at stake
So many dead ends, I'm at the edge of the lake
Sometimes I wonder what it's gonna take
To find dignity

EDNOTE: Most of the paintings and illustrations on my blog are available for sale. This piece is titled Dylan II, and is available as a limited edition giclee print, 18 x 24 for $200, and 12 x 16 for $100. Feel free to click on image to enlarge.

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