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Is Bob Dylan a copycat?

Meagan Morris is an entertainment and lifestyle journalist living in New York City. In addition to SheKnows, Morris contributes to many publications including The New York Times, Yahoo! News, PopEater, NBC New York and Spinner. Follow he...

Bob Dylan under fire for art exhibit

Some Bob Dylan fans have discovered that he's possibly done the worst thing an artist can do: plagiarize another artist's work.

Bob Dylan's musical style has been copied by thousands of musicians over the years. Now, the iconic singer and songwriter is under some intense scrutiny for doing some copying of his own.

Bob Dylan under fire for art exhibit

Dylan's art exhibition "The Asia Series" -- going on this month at the Gagosian Gallery on Manhattan's Upper East Side -- is described as "a visual journal" of his travels and experiences "in Japan, China, Vietnam and Korea," with "firsthand depictions of people, street scenes, architecture and landscape."

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The iconic singer has certainly traveled the globe, so he likely has plenty of experience to draw from, right? Not so fast: The New York Times reported that several Dylan afficiados have noticed striking similiarities in Dylan's art -- like that he copied certain photographs line for line.

It's not a coincidence -- several pieces, like one of two Asian men, are exact replicas of older photographs.

"The most striking thing is that Dylan has not merely used a photograph to inspire a painting: he has taken the photographer's shot composition and copied it exactly. He hasn't painted the group from any kind of different angle, or changed what he puts along the top edge, or either side edge, or the bottom edge of the picture," Dylan fan Michael Gray wrote on his blog, Bob Dylan Encyclopedia.

"He's replicated everything as closely as possible. That may be a (very self-enriching) game he's playing with his followers, but it's not a very imaginative approach to painting. It may not be plagiarism but it's surely copying rather a lot."

Image courtesy Noam Vahaba/

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