Dylangate: Bob Dylan Sculpts Gigantic Gate for Maryland Casino


You may have heard of Bob Dylan — the singer who in 2009 released the unforgettable, poignant hit, “Must Be Santa,” adding a new gravitas to the lyrical rhetorical questions, “Who’s got a beard/That’s long and white?” and “Who comes around/On a special night?” — not to mention the musician behind this moody Chrysler commercial or, for that matter, the musician behind this moody Victoria’s Secret commercial. Now, news has it this multifarious talent (word is he also at one point wrote a folk album) is also the artist behind an archway at a Maryland casino.

Yes, Rolling Stone reports that Dylan — who seems to relish the odder, trollingly capitalist aspects of his career alongside the varied canonical Important American Musician identities for which he’s known — is now providing decoration for Maryland’s MGM’s National Harbor Casino, in the form of a 26-by-15-foot archway he crafted just for the place. It’s called “Portal.” Presumably, it transports you from the real outside world to a mysterious fantasy land where you can drop lots of money in loud machines.

As the publication notes, this is not Dylan’s first gate-oriented undertaking. The musician formerly had an exhibit at London’s Halcyon Gallery, where similar massive gates were on display, back in 2013. Dylan said of gates:

Gates appeal to me because of the negative space they allow. They can be closed, but at the same time they allow the seasons and breezes to enter and flow. They can shut you out or shut you in. And in some ways, there is no difference.

Dylan’s gates are massive composites of found objects that range from toys to tools to old guns. The CEO of MGM Resorts International, clearly excited by the arrangement for one such custom-made Dylan gate, said:

As a company founded upon entertainment, we’re truly inspired by artists who channel their energy into diverse paths. We’re proud to collaborate with Mr. Dylan and bring his vision to MGM National Harbor’s Heritage Collection in a way that enhances this sensory resort experience.

“Portal” will be permanently displayed at the casino, so if all goes well you’ll have all of eternity to enjoy the “sensory resort experience” enhanced by Dylangate.