Dylan’s Less than honest journey into the world of Art
Mr Oechsle, 58, is otherwise known as “Okinawa Soba,” the owner of an account on the photo-sharing website Flickr. Earlier this week, it emerged that several of the paintings in Dylan’s latest New York art show were direct copies of pictures from that very feed.
“It’s plagiarism, pure and simple” Mr Oechsle told The Independent. “If a writer were to use a phrase from Shakespeare, and not credit him, or attribute it in any way, that’s what they’d be accused of. There’s an ethic expected of an artist, and Bob Dylan should be good enough to have it.”
When Dylan’s show opened at Manhattan’s Gagosian Gallery last month, the 18 oil paintings were billed as a “visual journal” of his travels in Asia, containing “first hand depictions of people, street scenes, architecture and landscape.” In its catalogue, the singer claimed: “I paint mostly from real life.”
It has since emerged, however, that at least half of the works are copied from the internet. Six of them came from Mr Oechsle’s Flickr account, which contains antique photos of Japan which he collected during thirty years as a resident of Okinawa.
“Why didn’t he just credit the source?” says Oechsle, who was alerted to the theft by users of a Dylan fan site, Expecting Rain. “That would be the civil thing to do: give credit, say thanks, and acknowledge where the idea came from. If someone made a record that copied Dylan’s music, he’d hit the roof; there’s a double standard here.”