Homage or Misconception?

The August 1 cover of Bloomberg Businessweek may strike a familiar chord, even if you’re not a Dylan fan. Here’s what is written in an editor’s note:

David Parkins’s cover illustration of freewheelin’ Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is a tribute to illustrator Milton Glaser’s famous 1966 poster of Bob Dylan, which was created for Columbia Records to be folded and packaged into Dylan’s Greatest Hits LP. Glaser has said his inspiration was a 1957 self-portrait by Marcel Duchamp.

Is that Glaser's Dylan 40 years later? Take the Electric Kool-Aid Test.

Illustrating the story “Bernanke, the Reluctant Revolutionary,” which suggests the Federal Reserve chief has changed his M.O. from conservative to radical, the author, Peter Coy, makes an odd analogy: “With the global financial crisis over (for now), Bernanke is groping for a second act, like a monetary Bob Dylan who peaked too young.” Presumably, he means now that Bernanke’s folk days are over and he’s into his Blonde on Blonde period, or even, dare we say it, the Nashville Skyline era: “That favorable consensus is long gone. Monetary hawks now accuse him of flooding the economy with money in a way that undermines the financial system and threatens hyperinflation.”

The question of the evening: Is this illustration a clever homage or exploitative misconception? Frankly, I’m blowin’ in the wind over this.

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Download Milton Glaser and Mirko Ilic’s webcast The Design of Dissent from MyDesignShop.com.

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