Bob Dylan is facing some uncomfortable questions after it emerged that some of his paintings at his recent New York exhibition resemble other artists' work.

The legendary musician's show, at the Gagosian Gallery, titled "The Asia Series," was billed as a "visual journey" of his travels through Asia, containing "first hand depictions of people, street scenes, architecture and landscape" that he encountered.

However, it has since emerged that more than half of the 18 paintings in the exhibition were copied from photographs that can easily be found with a quick Google search.

One painting called Opium shows a dark haired woman lying down alongside opium paraphernalia. The same scene appears in Leon Busy's 1915 photograph of a Vietnamese woman smoking opium.

Another one of Dylan's painting The Game, depicting three men playing a board game, is the same as a 1950 photograph by Dmitri Kessel.

Dylan did not attribute the original sources when the Asia Series exhibition opened. In an interview, he claimed: "I paint mostly from real life. It has to start with that."

The Gagosin gallery ignored any possible controversy, saying in a statement that "the composition of some of Bob Dylan's paintings are based on a variety of sources."

These include "archival, historic images, the paintings' vibrancy and freshness come from the colours and textures found in everyday scenes he observed."