REVIEW: Bob Dylan: Face Value

Internationally celebrated musician Bob Dylan has recently put together a collection of 12 pastel portraits, called ‘Face Value’. His sketches display characters taken both from his life and imagination and bear fictitious strange names like Ivan Steinbeck and Nina Felix.

Dylan uses shades of black, brown, red and yellow  in order to exaggerate human skin and add to an untidy and worn out quality. This effect arguably betrays some kind of emotional depth to these characters whose gaze never seizes to stare at its audience, sometimes in anger, other times with pleasure and familiarity.


Nina Felix by Bob Dylan © Bob Dylan, 2013

Bob Dylan never escapes narrative, like his music  his portraits tell the stories of people taken out from his real life encounters, his imagination or even perhaps  from one of his songs.

‘Face Value’ will be on display at the National Portrait Gallery until the 5th of January 2014.


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