Exhibition Open to the Public: Monday, April 4th
On display until April 21, 2016
A US premiere exhibition of Ted Russell’s intimate, previously unseen, photographs of Bob Dylan in New York City. The photographs chronicle days in the life of the then unknown folk artist – backstage and onstage at the folk clubs, hanging out in his apartment with his girlfriend, Suze Rotolo, at his writing desk, and on the street. They give a fresh, candid glimpse of what life in Greenwich Village was like for the 20 year-old folk bard.
Chris Murray, exhibition curator and co-author of the accompanying book, notes: “This collection of photographs by Ted Russell is a unique document of Dylan’s first years as a musical artist and his genesis in Greenwich Village. In the photographs, as in Dylan’s music, we can see his conviction and compassion, his humour, and his love of song. Whether he was inspired by Little Richard, the Clancy Brothers or Woody Guthrie, Dylan remained rooted in tradition while making something contemporary and of his own time. We are enriched by this portrait of the artist as a young man.”
Ted Russell took the photographs in order to pitch a story about the trials and tribulations of an up-and-coming folk singer – a theme that has recently been taken up in the acclaimed film Inside Llewyn Davis. But back then, the subject failed to drum up interest: “Saturday Evening Post editors were enthusiastic about my proof sheets … but when I played a Dylan demo record, they asked me if I was playing it at the correct speed, and they passed”, Russell recalls, laughing.
After 50 years lying largely dormant in a file cabinet, the complete collection has been brought to light in Bob Dylan: NYC 1961-1964 (Rizzoli 2015). The book includes texts by Ted Russell and Chris Murray, and a foreword by Donovan. It is available in the gallery for $35.
Copyright Ted Russell & Govinda Gallery