Back in January, The Ottawa Citizen’s Zev Singer wrote a scathing article about Michel Luc Bellemare that, in so many words, accused the artist of fabricating his resume–an accusation that Bellemare vehemently denies. The story itself is worth reading, but there is more to it now.
As Singer pointed out on Twitter the other night, there is now a “retraction” floating around on free press release websites addressing the story in question, and signed by “The Ottawa Citizen.” This retraction, Singer says, was not issued by The Citizen, but instead by Bellemare himself.
When I contacted Bellemare for comment on Singer’s allegation that he is behind the apparently-fraudulent retraction and to ask him whether or not he wrote it, I received a one-line, three-word response:
“I did not,” Bellemare wrote me in an email.
Singer did tell me he sent the tweet Wednesday evening without digging for proof that Bellemare had written and distributed it. That said, “the retraction has Bellemare's fingerprints all over it,” he told me in an email. “Having read dozens of his creations, and no small number of pages of his unique prose stylings, I know a Bellemare when I see one.”
Singer did confirm though, that the retraction was not issued by The Citizen. From his email to me:
In a way, this development is a fitting postscript to the story. The piece I wrote about Bellemare detailed, among other things, his practice of writing an effusive review of his own work, signing it with the name of a famous curator, museum or publication, and posting it on a free press release web site. Can I be surprised, then, that after our story ran a retraction and “full apology” appeared on the same type of site signed “Sincerely, The Ottawa Citizen?”