Bob Dylan brings a taste of the Iron Range to London art gallery


So if a kid who grew up on Minnesota's Iron Range in the 1950's went on to become really, really famous and put together his own art show, what would be in it?

Um, ... that would be iron.

And some old magazines like Time and Life. And Playboy.

And some car doors riddled with bullet holes and named after gangsters.

At least that's what the state's most famous ranger features in the exhibit Bob Dylan Mood Swings, which just opened at the Halcyon Gallery in London, England.

The Belfast Telegraph reports ironwork is the centerpiece of Dylan's show, which includes a number of gates he welded together from scrap. The story quotes the Duluth-born, Hibbing-raised Dylan saying he's been around iron ever since he was a kid: "I was born and raised in iron ore country - where you could breathe it and smell it every day. And I've always worked with it in one form or another."

As for the gates, the Telegraph provides this Dylan nugget: "They can be closed but at the same time they allow the seasons and breezes to enter and flow. They can shut you out or shut you in. And in some ways there is no difference."

Apart from the ironwork, there are two other sections of the show. One features mock-ups of vintage American magazine covers. The other, which the Telegraph's art critic found particularly effective, includes car doors that are covered with bullet holes and named after famous American gangsters such as Capone, Dillinger, and Machine Gun Kelly.

Overall, critic Mark Hudson says it's clear that Dylan's art is no more than a hobby. But of the car doors, he writes: "Their battered, rusting surfaces are beautifully recreated, evoking the scuzzily immemorial Mid-West that has inspired some of Dylan’s best music."

The Telegraph also offers a gallery of photos, primarily of the iron.

The gallery's president says he expects Dylan to stop by the exhibit. Dylan was in Paris this week to receive France's highest award, the Legion of Honor, the BBC reports. The network notes a correspondent described Dylan as looking "distinctly uncomfortable" while France's minister of culture extolled his work during the presentation. He reportedly left the ceremony after saying only that he was proud and grateful.

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