Bob Dylan paintings come under fire for possible plagiarism

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Bob Dylan has spent his entire career being labeled as a true original. So imagine our surprise that Dylan is the target of plagiarism charges for his recent paintings.

Dylan's paintings are being displayed in New York as the "The Asia Series" at the Gagosian Gallery -- the exhibit is a "visual reflection on his travels in Japan, China, Vietnam, and Korea." However, a New York Times article has observed that the paintings are nearly identical to previously published photographs by a variety of other artists.

According to reports, the painting "Tirade" is similar to a 1948 Henri-Cartier-Bresson photograph. Both the painting and the photo depict two elderly men bent over while talking; one holds a banknote.

"Opium" depicts a dark-haired woman wearing red lying down alongside opium accessories. Leon Busy's photo "Woman Smoking Opium" depicts the same scene. The series is pictured above.

Despite the irritation of art aficionado, the gallery does not seem concerned; in an official statement, they claim that "the composition of some of Bob Dylan's paintings are based on a variety of sources."

Photo/Video credit: Musee d’Albert Kahn/Gagosian