Bob Dylan’s take on his new train sculpture belies his words about trains


“Perception and reality at the same time.” This is how the legendary singer/songwriter Bob Dylan announces his latest work – “Railroad car” a life-size sculpture of a freight car – as if making some kind of art history.

Doesn’t he know that every The paintingeach sculpture, each artwork never realized is accompanied by both “perception and reality”? It’s what you see and what you think or feel about what you see. It is the artistic experience. Nothing notable there.

There’s nothing notable about it either. sculpture – Newly unveiled “Rail Car” at Château la Coste Art Center in the south-east of France.

What you see is a three-dimensional outline drawing, the lines made from a ratio of seven tons of iron. It’s a lot of nothing, even though it’s said to be the largest ever sculpture of a freight transporter.

Please know that I am a long time fan of Bob Dylanever since I saw him perform in Greenwich Village in the 1960s. But I can’t praise him today. As if trying to reinforce the meaning of “Rail Car”, he said The Guardian that “all iron is recontextualized to represent peace, serenity and stillness”.

words matter

Maybe I’m too tired of artists inflating their work with Press officer. Dylan is better than that. He wrote about trains for a long time, but never alluded to “peace, serenity and stillness”. Completely the opposite.

His song “The Freight Train Blues” comes to mind. There’s nothing in the lyrics about how the railroads make him feel safe, peaceful, serene or even in any of the stanzas. Instead, her poem says that freight trains taught her to cry. It’s hard to reconcile such sadness with its sparkling generality about peace, serenity and stillness.

None of these pans are intended to put DylanInterest in trains is questioned. They are in his paintings, also. But whenever her feelings on the subject are in her songs, they’re sad, not serene.

Off the tracks

In “Train A-Travelin” consider his opening line: “Sometimes I feel so down and disgusted.” Then, to amplify his sad state of mind about trains, he goes on lyrically how the iron wagon rolls through the years “with a hotbed of hate and a furnace full of fears”. All this has its description of “Rail car” come out as mere buffoonery.

Iron certainly seems to be his medium in sculpture, but the titles he gives them generally sound less publicized. For his first sculpture – a door exhibited in 2013 at Halcyon Gallery in London, he nicknamed him “Mood swings.”

Dylan’s forges, benign as they are, have even made headlines. In 2019, the US State Department paid $84,375 for one of the singer’s doors at his embassy in mozambique. Some thought the cost was “excessive”. I did not do it.

Obviously the trains are Dylan’s primary objective. Perhaps “Rail car” would come across as heavier if he wasn’t trying so hard to build it.

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