Bob Dylan unveils his largest sculpture ever, of a freight car | Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan’s largest sculpture, of a railroad freight car, has been unveiled at a French vineyard.

The monumental piece, titled Rail Car, is constructed from approximately seven tons of iron and installed on the train tracks of Château La Coste in Provence. Exposed to the weather, it features patterns of ladders, wheels and tools.

Dylan said the artwork “represents perception and reality at the same time…all iron is recontextualized to represent peace, serenity and stillness.” He announced the “enormous energy of the work… It represents the illusions of a journey rather than the contemplation of a journey.”

Rail Car continues Dylan’s sculptural works of art in welded metal which were first shown to the public in 2013, with a set of iron gates titled Mood Swings which were exhibited at London’s Halcyon Gallery. Other metal works include Portal, an iron arch created for a casino in Maryland. Another door piece was purchased for $84,375 by the US State Department in 2019, to be installed in its embassy in Mozambique – the high expenditure has been criticized, with a department official calling the purchase “excessive “.

Railroads are a recurring feature in Dylan’s painting, and he wrote of them in his memoir, Chronicles: Volume One: “I had seen and heard trains from my earliest childhood and their sight and sound always reassured me. Big Box Cars, Iron Ore Cars, Freight Cars, Passenger Trains, Pullman Cars. There was no place you could go in my hometown without at least part of the day having to stop at intersections and wait for the long trains to pass.

Another view of the wagon. Photography: Stéphane Aboudaram/Bob Dylan

Iron, too, has a connection to Dylan’s past. “I’ve been around iron all my life, ever since I was a kid,” he said in 2013. “I was born and raised in the land of iron ore, where you could breathe it and feel it every day.”

Railway imagery appears in songs such as 1979’s Slow Train, a symbol of impending change and judgment, and 1962’s Train A-Travelin’: “There’s an iron train traveling / that has rolled through the years / With a hearth of hate and a furnace full of fears / If you ever heard its sound or saw its blood red broken frame / Then you heard my voice sing and you know my name.

Rail Car joins another high-profile project away from music this year for the 80-year-old songwriter: In November he will release The Philosophy of Modern Song, a collection of 60-song essays celebrating songs by musicians such as than Elvis Costello, Hank Williams and Nina Simone.

Dylan is awaiting the progress of a lawsuit brought against him by a woman who accuses him of sexually abusing her when she was 12, in 1965. “malicious, reckless and defamatory”.

He also sold his catalog of recordings to Sony Music Entertainment earlier this year, in an estimated $200 million deal. He previously sold his songwriting rights to Universal in 2020, for a rumored $400 million.

About Edward Weddle

Check Also

The gallery owner who took a ceramics course – and joined the sculpture club

In an old button factory just north of Old London Street, Nicola Tassie is building …