With the first short stare at Bob Dylan’s “Train Tracks” a person conceives the idea that it is just a painting an elementary student could have done with some watercolors and the only reason people have paid thousands of dollars for the piece is because his name is on it.
This may be true however, if you truly examine the painting you will over analyze it and conjure up some crazy idea of what it actually means, as I have done. This masterpiece of folk art gives a message of infinite hopelessness and in contrast it shows good things can be conceived if you continue to move on. As you stare into the deep red sky covering an old broken town and a set of tracks the thought of loneliness comes to mind. As the tracks journey through a deserted town there seems to be no hope in life. The deep black cumulonimbus blotches in the open sky give the illusion there is only devastation and disappointment ahead. The houses and building are all but perfect and only destined to get worse, and the grass cannot even grow its proper shade, instead red cold clay takes its place.
Even the lone tree is saddening, just standing there abandoned with signs of no future. The broken telephone poles tell there can be no more communication, no more interaction, nothing to keep you conversant in this world. Big dark mountains stand in your way, making it almost impossible to escape the nightmare. However, there is one focal point in the painting that gives you hope and something to believe in. The train tracks can take you away to a far and breathtaking place if you try. These endless steel rails evade the dusk and travel into the dawn, and if you believe the mountains can be over come the tracks will take you over them.
The picture shows there is a light up ahead with unknown adventure, excitement and hope of a better life waiting to be discovered by you. Many paintings can send different ideas and messages to different people. Dylan’s “Train Tracks” show me a disturbing view of life that seems to have no chance of being improved and enhanced. However, the painting also gives me a sense of hope and adventure. The light past the mountains give a strong feeling that what lies behind those enormous hills is wonderful, something to believe in. However, discover the mystery that lies ahead and to attain its spoils a great venture over the mountains is needed.
Even though I know this piece was only created to make the one of the smartest con men in the world massive amounts of money and even more fame, I still believe there is some sort of message interlaying between the lines.