For art and photography lovers, the next couple of months in Australia feature a spate of eclectic exhibitions. While some councils in Australia are actively seeking to undermine the Arts industry, others are fully embracing the importance of art. The most popular exhibition of the moment is the Andy Warhol-Ai Weiwei exhibition at the NGV Melbourne which ends April 24. Looking at the the lives of the two artists, the exhibition emphasises their influence on modern art, featuring more than 300 works from the artists.
Warhol’s work will also be shown in an exhibition (one of two) dedicated to Marilyn Monroe: Marilyn: Celebrating an American Icon is now showing until May 8 at the Murray Art Museum in Albury. It will feature photographs and artwork surrounding Monroe’s illustrious career and enduring pop culture mythology. John McDonald writes in the Sydney Morning Herald:
“Albury has pulled out all stops for this show. The town is covered in pink flags and lights. There are Marilyn Monroe quotations on posters in shop windows. It’s worth going to see a city that is so supportive of arts and culture when other councils in NSW, from Broken Hill to Coffs Harbour, are working to destroy the galleries and audiences that have been built up over many years.”
The second Marilyn exhibition is Marilyn, showing from March 5- July 10, 2016 at the Bendigo Art Gallery. This exhibition will focus more on Monroe’s wardrobe, featuring over 20 original costumes from Monroe’s films.
For architecture buffs, there is Imagine a City: 200 years of public architecture in NSW showing at the State Library of NSW, which includes works by iconic artists and photographers Max Dupain, Lloyd Rees and Harold Cazneaux.
And to honour the late, great David Bowie, the small but popular Blender Gallery in Paddington, known for its music photography, is showing Starman 1947-2016, A Tribute to David Bowie featuring a series of intimate photographs of the revolutionary star.This will be on show from February 27 to April 2.
Arguably Bob Dylan’s most famous song, the iconic Like a Rolling Stone (1965), released when the artist was 24 on the album Highway 61 Revisited, has set a new Sotheby’s record. So how does it feel? Well, to Dylan it feels about $US2.045 million, the price that an original draft of the song’s lyrics went for at the Sotheby’s auction on the 24th of June, 2014, just one year out from the song’s 50th anniversary. This beats the previous record, which was for John Lennon’s handwritten lyrics for A Day in the Life which sold for $US1.2 million in 2010. The song has remained a Dylan favourite, his most popular, with iconic and elusive lyrics, rumoured to be inspired by Dylan’s one-time doomed lover and Andy Warhol muse Edie Sedgwick, and the pop artist’s treatment of Sedgwick. Dylan, critical of Sedgwick’s relationship with Warhol, makes thinly-veiled references to a “Miss Lonely” who never compromises with a ‘mystery tramp’ (supposedly Warhol). Regardless of whether or not this torrid relationship is the origin of such masterful lyrics, the song is ripe with resentment and dark reflection. It is indeed tempting to speculate that Dylan is referring to the troublesome pair, with lyrics such as: ‘Ain’t it hard when you discovered that, he really wasn’t where it’s at, after he took from you everything, he could steal?’ The relationship is the central focus of the unfulfilled film Factory Girl (2006), whose character Bobby Flynn is clearly based on Dylan, who criticises Warhol’s factory group. The songs Just Like a Woman and Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat are also said to be inspired by Sedgwick, who, according to the former, ‘breaks just like a little girl.’
Bob Dylan’s original drafts for ‘Like a Rolling Stone’
The original lyrics of Like a Rolling Stone were written on four sheets of hotel stationery from the The Roger Smith Hotel in Washington DC, and are said to be the only surviving drafts of the song, which features unused references to Al Capone as well as rhyming words for ‘feel’, including ‘kneel’, ‘deal’ and ‘real’. The drafts have been sold to an unnamed “longtime fan from California.” The first official interactive video clip for the song was launched in 2013, featuring deadpan historians, news anchors and cartoons lip synching the lyrics. Changing the channel enables you to see the famous song performed through the mouths of different people depending on what channel you are on, showing the widespread influence of such music. See it below: