Pop culture icon Bob Dylan has issued a rare public statement to admit that he “regrets” having made “an error in judgment” in using machine technology to affix duplicate signatures to artwork and books advertised and retailed as hand-signed over the past three years, reports ‘Variety’.
Dylan said the use of autopen signatures only occurred since 2019, when he was afflicted with a case of vertigo, and on through the pandemic, when he was not able to have staff assist him with the hand-signing he had previously done.
The singer-songwriter said he was given “the assurance that this kind of thing is done ‘all the time’ in the art and literary worlds”. Now that it has come to light and stirred a controversy, Dylan said, “I want to rectify it immediately. I’m working with Simon & Schuster and my gallery partners to do just that.”
Dylan’s statement, published on his Facebook account, said he did hand-sign everything that was advertised as such up until 2019.
According to ‘Variety’, other musicians have been suspected of using the autopen for purportedly hand-signed items, and in rare instances, have even owned up to it, but the others have not been selling art prints that routinely sell for $3,000 to $15,000, as Dylan’s art prints do.
Dylan’s statement indicating that he has used the autopen to sign artwork follows Simon & Schuster’s admission one week ago that a batch of autographed copies of Dylan’s new book, ‘Philosophy of Modern Song’ (each priced $600), had been machine-signed, with refunds immediately offered.
‘Variety’ adds that a gallery that has specialised in selling Dylan art prints, the UK-based Castle Galleries, issued a statement on Saturday to say it was “reaching out to each and every one of our collectors who purchased any print from the (pertinent) editions to offer a solution to fully rectify the matter”.