Relationships of ownership: art and theft in Bob Dylan's 1960s trilogy

Michael Rodgers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Downloads (Pure)


Bob Dylan’s corpus is one continually engaged with appropriation and pilfering. This paper will look, predominantly, at three songs from his 1960s’ trilogy – ‘She Belongs To Me’ from Bringing It All Back Home (1965), ‘Visions of Johanna’ from Blonde on Blonde (1966), and ‘Desolation Row’ from Highway 61 Revisited (1965) – arguing that, in these songs, Dylan problematizes the interrelationship between art, theft, and ownership. I argue that, similar to the urban artist Banksy, Dylan challenges, toys with, and appropriates cultural images in order to continually question the concept of proprietorship whilst rescuing cultural images from esoterica and attempting to put them back into the public domain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-29
Number of pages13
JournalImaginations: Journal of Cross Cultural Image Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2012


  • Bob Dylan
  • proprietorship
  • concepts of ownership
  • property rights

Cite this