Dylan on his art, memoirs and Obama

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Bob Dylan has talked openly about his art, the next instalment of his memoirs and his hope for the future, in an in-depth interview with The Times.

“We’ve got this guy out there now who is redefining the nature of politics from the ground up…Barack Obama. He’s redefining what a politician is, so we’ll have to see how things play out. I’m hopeful that things might change,” said Dylan.

He also expressed his distaste for the music industry, saying he preferred his literary dealings: “The music world’s a made-up bunch of hypocritical rubbish. I know from publishing a memoir that the book people are a whole lot saner.”

The interview goes on to cover Dylan’s ‘Drawn Blank Series’, a collection of over 200 pictures completed by the singer, which will open at the Halcyon Gallery in Mayfair on June 14.

Following the success of his first ever art museum exhibition in Germany in October last year, the London show features new intense colour variations based on his drawings and sketches produced between 1989 and 1992 – originally published in a the Random House published book ‘Drawn Blank.’

“There was no predetermined brief. Just deal with the material to hand, whatever that is. And do it however you want. You can be fussy, you can be slam-bang, it doesn’t matter,” he said. And he thought that critics were reading too much into his paintings, saying; “If it pleases the eye of the beholder…There’s no more to it than that, to my mind. Or even if it repels the eye. Either one is fine.”

Talking on his memoirs, he also revealed that he didn’t enjoy aspects of writng his the first part of his autobiography Chronicles Volume One:

“Writing any kind of book is a lonely thing. You cut yourself off from friends and family to find, that necessarily quiet place in your mind. You have to disassociate and detach yourself from just about everything and everybody. I didn’t like that part of it at all.”

Dylan recently spent the seven week lay-off between the end of his last American tour and the start of his European tour working on Chronicles Volume Two. Now seven gigs into the tour, you can catch him live on one of the following dates:

Warsaw, Poland, Stodola (7)
Ostrava, Czech Republic, Cez Arena (9)
Vienna, Austria, Stadhalle (10)
Salzburg, Austria, Arena (11)
Varazdin, Croatia, Radar Festival (13)
Bergamo, Italy, Lazzaretta (16)
Aosta, Italy, Castello Borgia (18)
Grenoble, France, Palais des Sports (19)
Toulouse, France, Zenith (20)
Andorra la Vella, Andorra, Campo de Futbol Muni (22)
Zaragoza, Spain, Feia de Muenstras (24)
Pamplona, Spain, Plaza de Toros (25)
Vigo, Spain, Recinto Ferial (27)
Avilla, Spain, Parque Natural de Gredos (28)
Valencia, Spain, Auditorio Ciudad (July 1)
Cuenca, Spain, tbc (2)
Murcia, Spain, Plaza de Toros (4)
Jaen, Spain, Recinto Ferial (5)
Madrid, Spain, Rock in Rio (6)
Jerez, Spain, Campo de Football Muni (8)
Merida, Spain, Plaza de Toros (10)
Lisbon, Portugal, Optimus Live (11)