Elliot Landy's
Woodstock Photos

by Paula K. V. Radice

The Dylan highlight of last month must have been the visit I paid to Proud Central Gallery in London to see the small exhibition of Elliot Landy's Woodstock photos (there was also a section of photos of the Beatles in India, but that was, needless to say, much less interesting).

I have always liked the Woodstock photos, seeing Dylan looking so relaxed and with his family. It was astounding to see them in the scale they are reproduced for this exhibition (the smallest is around 20 by 30 inches, and some are considerably larger), and you only realize, at this scale, what a good photographer Landy actually is. The camera looks at Dylan frankly and with obvious affection, and Dylan reciprocates.

Bob - full frontal

(There is - rather incongruously - a handful of concert photos from 1978 as well, which are necessarily much less intimate, and much less telling about Dylan the man.)

Most of the images are very familiar, of course, but it was nice  to see a significant number of  previously  unseen photos, some of them so good that I wondered why they had never been published.  There is an astonishing series of four close-up portraits, for example, with Dylan's face filling and overflowing the boundaries of the photos, that are incredibly beautiful.  If they hadn't been quite so big, I might have been tempted to stuff them under my coat and make a run for it (I make a good run, but I run too slow, so it might not have been successful).

I certainly couldn't contemplate buying copies of them: all of the photos on show here are for sale, but with prices ranging from around 700 to 1000 per print, they're well beyond my pocket (but I have got a birthday coming up, if anyone's interested...).  What a shame there isn't a catalogue to accompany the exhibition, or, at the very least, some postcards to take home as a reminder of the images. 

The photos are nicely framed, hung and lit, and I would recommend to anyone who is within easy travelling distance of London that they make at least a detour to see them.  Proud Central Gallery is a step away from Charing Cross station: turn right from the station into the bottom of the Strand, take the first right turn, and immediately a left turn into Buckingham Street.  The Gallery is on the corner.  It's open until 7 o'clock in the evening, and admission to the two exhibitions is 3.00.  It's open throughout May, but ends sometime in early June, I think. 

Really looking forward to Northampton: hope to see you all there!



Paula K. V. Radice
May 2003

Dylan by Landy