Legendary Minnesota Musician Busted Selling Auto-Penned Signatures
Iconic (former) Minnesotan Bob Dylan has issued an apology after he was busted using an "auto-pen" to sign books and works of art since 2019. The signatures were advertised as 'orginal,' but were actually done by a machine copying his autograph.
The controversy came to light after publisher Simon & Schuster shipped copies of Dylan's new book "Philosophy Of Modern Sound" and collectors began to compare notes on social media.
According to Variety, there are only 17 variations of the auto-penned signature, which made it easy to figure out that something strange was blowin' in the wind when collectors shared their purchase on social media. The signed book cost fans $600.
After being discovered, Dylan issued an apology on social media:
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,
For their part, Simon & Schuster has refunded everyone who spent $600 on the book that included a faux signature.
The controversy goes deeper than the $600 books, as Dylan's revelation that the auto-pen goes back to 2019 means many of his art prints also have a less-than-authentic signature. Some of those prints were listed for up to five figures.
The art gallery is also working to rectify the controversy as soon as possible, according to social media.