Artbeat

Brief sketches of what's happening in the Denver art scene.

It's hard to know what to call the Mizel Arts Center (350 South Dahlia Street, 303-399-2660). Its real name is the Mizel Family Cultural Arts Center, but the shorter Mizel Arts Center has been a convention for years. Confusing the issue is that the institution has been merged with the Mizel Museum of Judaica into a new single entity called the Mizel Center of Arts and Culture. Well, whatever it's called, the institution periodically presents multi-media events that can include anything from panel discussions and lectures to films and concerts. There's always one constant, however: an intelligent art show in the Singer Gallery put on by director Simon Zalkind.

This summer's series topic is Bob Dylan at 60: A Tribute, and the art component is Early Dylan: Photographs by Barry Feinstein, Daniel Kramer and Jim Marshall, which includes photos borrowed from the Fahey/Klein Gallery in Los Angeles. Dating from the 1960s and '70s, the artwork reveals something interesting: Though Bob Dylan was far from handsome, he was undeniably photogenic, à la Marilyn Monroe or Elvis. In an early photo by Marshall (above), the young Dylan's face commands the frame the way James Dean's takes over a movie screen.

More amazing is that Dylan remains an ideal subject for these photographers, even after the ravages of drink and drugs have taken their toll and erased the last traces of youth from his face. In an untitled photo from the 1970s, by Barry Feinstein, a hardened Dylan is captured with lips pursed, hair disheveled and eyes hidden by dark glasses. But although he appears haggard, he also looks fully like the legendary -- if not downright historical -- figure that he was and is.

The show is set to close on August 26.

 
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