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Rakewell

An art rogue at Vogue

13 August 2017

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.

American painter John Currin has produced a portrait of Jennifer Lawrence for the cover of Vogue – one of four specially commissioned likenesses that will grace the magazine’s 125th anniversary September issue.

The fashion bible has a history of artistic collaboration, with previous issues featuring work by the likes of Salvador Dalí, Giorgio de Chirico and Andy Warhol. But the Rake must admit to being somewhat surprised: Currin is, after all, probably most famous in the UK for the erotically charged image he painted for the cover of Pulp’s 1998 album This is Hardcore.

This time, though, he seems to have come over all coy. ‘To be in a situation of producing a cover for this famous magazine, I’m a little scared,’ he told the New York Times. ‘I do worry about decorum.’ The paper affirms that Ms. Lawrence, resplendent in a fluffy Miu Miu hat (or is it one borrowed from Parmigianino’s Turkish Slave?), looks very ‘demure’.

Not everyone is so concerned about protocol. A decade ago, artist Scott King staged a show in New York entitled ‘How I’d Sink American Vogue’. King, a former art director of i-D and Sleazenation, envisioned a situation in which he replaced longstanding Vogue editor Anna Wintour. Highlights of his imaginary reign over the glossy press include a mock cover for ‘The Angry Issue’ (sample headlines: ‘Rebel Yell! Where to get that Black Panther look’ and ‘How Bono saved Africa’), and an ‘advertisement-free’ number promising a free ‘anti-capitalist paperclip’ and a Naomi Klein piece on ‘why wearing foreign shoes is wrong’. The series culminated in a cover depicting a budgie against a bright yellow background, embellished with the phrase ‘I am God’.

Courtesy Herald St gallery

Got a story for Rakewell? Get in touch at rakewell@apollomag.com or via @Rakewelltweets.

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