Bob Dylan’s John Wesley Harding
Oscar G. Guardans
John Wesley Harding is a 1967 album by Bob Dylan. The songs deal with themes of myth, temptation, fear and redemption, conjured through a stark and surreal tone as biblical imagery is interwoven with folk legend of the American West. I had previously been working on the illustrations for Spanish poet and playwright García Lorca’s famous book of poems, the dauntingly beautiful Romancero Gitano (Gypsy Ballads). Lorca’s work,
as was Dylan’s, was indebted to a age-old history of folklore, which he reinvented and made his own by approaching it through a contemporary, surreal and hypnotic lyricism. When looking to expand the imagery i had drawn up for Lorca, the John Wesley Harding album proved to be a way of highlighting the common ground both works share, and experimenting with more techniques andtextures to conjure a similar feeling.
The work of Joan Miró and Antoni Tàpies, all influenced the feel of the work, which is presented as a companion booklet to the album, with included liner notes and lyrics.