Bob Dylan Is A Greedy Man


“Lucky Kid Usury” 2009. Acrylic on paper, 16 X 25″ Patterson Collection

From Last Communion:

Bob Dylan is a dog. A wealthy one. An intelligent one. But a dog nonetheless. For a man who has made millions on creativity, (much deserved in the medium of songwriting), he doesn’t need a wooden nickel more for his paintings, and now unfortunately we hear, his welding. At least not while he is alive. Damn dog. Damn monkey with a head for business. He’s a monkey and a dog. Damn greedy monkey dog who is playing the market like a pro, knowing darn well what the brand Dylan with fetch from the millionaire lawyers. But he paints like any painter, that is, paintably. And he welds like any welder can weld when a welder has a maid and a private cook. What more could he possibly need? Fill up a gallery with soft millionaire strokes and that’s one less gallery for the desperate strugglers to achieve. Oh I bet as a young man on a slushy Soho street he waved a fist or two at the established folk singer tools stuffing their portfolios with easy money. He got his break at a time when suits decided to merge their distribution talents with the creative joys of artists. Vinyl could be shelved all over the world, like toilet paper and mayonnaise. It was win-win for the new industry. Columbia Records could not have gambled on a more successful poster child. For Bob was an artist, then. And like any artist worth his salt, he held a skyscraper chip on his shoulder for the rest of his life. He proved day after day why choosing him was a good idea, a sound investment. He worked at it. And improved. And never gave up. Why? Because he didn’t have to. Lunch was always available. Dinner and a late night snack too. After 1963, he could dip into any swimming pool at any time, and there would always be a bed made for him while traveling, always a seat on an airplane.
Bob Dylan the man has got his piece of the pie. He is a genius, a super creative person, but he is no longer an artist. Bob Dylan the dog knows he can pretend beg in other mediums, and achieve wild success, because of fame, not struggle. He’s like the old coddled poodle of a J.P. Morgan wife. He will take what he can get because he can get it. Steak on a plate, or a walk in the park. Anything he wants, because there are mindless people out there who will spoil a dog rotten. He began no more or less creative than other creative poodles in the city, but he happens to be the family poodle of one of the richest people on the planet. Beef bones will be stocked for him in perpetuity inside the Morgan tomb.
The economy of idiots is manipulated en total by the savvy business elite. Isn’t it obvious now? Mercedes and Bob Dylan are one in the same thing, it’s true. But Dylan is also a human being, and a monumentally greedy one at that. His paintings will sell very well for posterity, his grandchildren, his grand children’s grandchildren can live in luxury because of the late twentieth centuries’ wildly profitable cult of personality. But that’s not enough for Bob. He wants it now. All of it now. If he pooped in a dog park, it and a ball jar might fetch a few hundred bucks on eBay, provided there were photos of the act to authenticate. Heck, in these days of light speed funny-money, it’s a sure thing that a fresh Bob pile will beget at least a weekly paycheck to an unknown artist. Knowing this I think Bob will hoard a septic tank supply for his own pre-coffin coffers.
Bob Dylan. The great Midwestern welder. Miner and artist of iron ore. The working man’s working man. Having the butler tip the pool cleaners, and another London gallerist turns her nose up to the eager emerging artist. Unlike Bob, his crap is not golden. It’ll fetch literal shit on the market.


One comment

  1. Nice rant. I can forgive whatever Dylan is up to now, because at least one of his songs – “Masters of War” – is among my all-time favorite songs. However, I am sure you’re correct that the lackluster creations of megastars sell for thousands of times what the best work of unknown visual artists would fetch, if we could sell anything at all. Even Miley Cyrus fancies herself an artist these days, and she didn’t even have to wait until she’d reached 23 years of age to capitalized on “celebrity” and “brand recognition” being the true mark of worthwhile art. Art is an artifact, and unless an artist is a celebrity, an artifact of his or her existence is as worthless as his or her unknown name. As for the intrinsic value of art, for that there need to be eyes capable of seeing it, in which case it should be fairly obvious. Alas people assess art less with their eyes and the more with their assumptions and associations in league with this or that ideology.

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