Bob Dylan says he regrets selling machine-signed books and art in rare public statement

Bob Dylan “regrets” having made “an error in judgment” while agreeing to use machine technology to affix duplicate signatures to his books and artwork that were falsely advertised as hand-signed pieces over the past three years. Sharing the same in a rare public statement on Friday night, he apologised to his fans and promised that he will rectify his mistake at the soonest.

The singer-songwriter said that the use of autopen signatures only started in 2019, particularly after he started having health issues due to vertigo, which went on through the pandemic. At the time, he was also short-staffed and didn’t have anyone to assist him with the hand-signing.

Dylan also shared that he was given “the assurance that this kind of thing is done all the time in the art and literary worlds”. Seeing how the machine-signed books and artwork have stirred controversy, the 81-year-old told Variety, “I want to rectify it immediately. I’m working with Simon & Schuster and my gallery partners to do just that.”

Dylan’s statement comes days after Simon & Schuster admitted to selling machine-signed books of Bob Dylan at $600 and offered an immediate refund. 

UK-based Castle Galleries that sell Dylan’s art prints issued a statement on Saturday to announce that they are reaching out to each and every one of their collectors who purchased any print from the (pertinent) editions to offer a solution and fully rectify the matter.

Read the full statement below:

To my fans and followers, I’ve been made aware that there’s some controversy about signatures on some of my recent artwork prints and on a limited edition of ‘Philosophy Of Modern Song.’ I’ve hand-signed each and every art print over the years, and there’s never been a problem. However, in 2019 I had a bad case of vertigo and it continued into the pandemic years.

It takes a crew of five working in close quarters with me to help enable these signing sessions, and we could not find a safe and workable way to complete what I needed to do while the virus was raging. So, during the pandemic, it was impossible to sign anything and the vertigo didn’t help. With contractual deadlines looming, the idea of using an auto-pen was suggested to me, along with the assurance that this kind of thing is done ‘all the time’ in the art and literary worlds.

Using a machine was an error in judgment and I want to rectify it immediately. I’m working with Simon & Schuster and my gallery partners to do just that.

With my deepest regrets, Bob Dylan.

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