Auction News

Rare Bob Dylan painting attracts major bidders


portrait of Bob Dylan.

A rare abstract painting by Bob Dylan is currently under offer for $50,000 in an online auction due to end later this month.

The untitled painting was completed by the singer-songwriter around 1968, while he was living and working in Woodstock, New York State.

The town, current population under 7,000, was to become a byword for the counterculture of the 1960s when it hosted the Woodstock Festival in 1969.

But it was already an established artistic colony, and Dylan moved there to live and work (recording with The Band) after being introduced to the town by Joan Baez in 1963.

The easy-going nature of Woodstock allowed Dylan to trade this 24.5 by 30 inch canvas for an astrological chart by fellow resident Sandy LePanto.

Abstract painting by Bob Dylan

Dylan traded this picture for an astrology reading.

The painting is abstract, but based around the outline of a bull according to its sale description.

“At the top is the red outline of a man in a brimmed hat—mirroring his own style during his Woodstock days (consider the ‘Nashville Skyline’ album cover)—which, as writer Anne Margaret Daniel has noted, functions as something of a self-portrait.”

It is clearly but faintly signed on the reverse.

The picture stayed in the Lepanto family, and was discovered in the estate of Sandy’s ex-husband Anthony.

This is considered an early work for Dylan, who has continued to produce visual art since the mid-1960s.

His most famous works are those that have been used on record covers: the picture for Music from Big Pink by The Band (1968, recorded in Woodstock) and the cover image for Self Portrait from 1970.

An unsigned abstract nude sold for $100,000 recently. A 1976 giclée print of a painting of train tracks in Oklahoma City realised £32,000 in 2022, the previous record for a Dylan art work.

This piece is linked closely with what many fans consider to be Dylan’s most successful creative period, and the height of his commercial success.

The painting has an estimate of $100,000. The sale is due to close on May 23.

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