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May 25, 2021

Early Photographs of Bob Dylan Taken by John Cohen in New York City, 1962

In 1962, shortly after a young Bob Dylan arrived in New York City, he met fellow musician John Cohen of the New Lost City Ramblers. Upon learning that Cohen was also a photographer, Dylan asked him to make photographs of him. They both went to Cohen’s East Village loft and rooftop for a few hours to make some photos in “a moment of invention… without planning, and with the freedom that comes from uncertainty.”


“These are pictures from a more innocent time at the beginning of Bob Dylan’s career,” Cohen recalled. “This is what he might have looked like when he first arrived in New York... the making of these photographs was quite na├»ve. We weren’t into creating a persona for Bob. I was more interested in documenting what was before the camera, and what I was seeing wasn’t so clear. The session was just a free-flowing pursuit of picture making and taking poses. We didn’t know what he was going to look like.”


















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