A HUGE tribute to Bob Dylan

You may notice a familiar face in the distance, if you get off the light rail at the Warehouse District stop in Minneapolis.

Bob Dylan mural

That’s Minnesota native Bob Dylan, interpreted as a five-story-tall harlequin.

Bob Dylan mural

The mural — which occupies the façade of the 15 Building at 5th Street S. and Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis — is the work of Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra, who also has installations in Moscow, Los Angeles, and New York.

Bob Dylan mural

Bob Dylan mural

According to MinnPost, the mural is coming to life thanks to a partnership between R2 Companies (who own the building), the city of Minneapolis, and the Hennepin Theatre Trust.

“We’re spending some money on this mural,” [R2 Companies’ Matt] Garrison said, “and we’re happy to do it. Normally, real estate investors want a direct return on investment, but this is more qualitative than quantitative. We’re doing it to help create a sense of community and excitement.”

When I stopped by yesterday there was indeed a sense of excitement, as dozens of passersby stopped to gawk and snap photos.

Bob Dylan mural

The mural is a triptych representing three phases of Bob Dylan’s career. My favorite so far is the youngest Dylan, I think, because of his wistful gaze.

Bob Dylan mural

Of course, I may change my mind when the middle-aged Dylan takes shape.

Bob Dylan mural

And I probably won’t have to wait long: In the half hour I spent on-site yesterday work progressed quickly, as three crews worked simultaneously.

Bob Dylan mural

The muralists used different techniques, depending on their task. One artist used a spray gun to give Bob Dylan the pompadour of his dreams …

Bob Dylan mural

… while two other painters filled in a large area with paint rollers.

Bob Dylan mural

But it was the guy at the far-right end of the mural who most caught my attention …

Bob Dylan mural

… because he kept referring to a stack of drawings and comparing it carefully to his and his colleagues’ work. “Did someone make a mistake?” I wondered.

Bob Dylan mural

At one point he saw me taking photos and turned to greet me. But it wasn’t until I got home and looked at his face that I understood: The man with the plan was muralist Eduardo Kobra himself.

Bob Dylan mural

I hope that, even from a block away, he could see my approving smile.