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Cashing in on Brexit with a new 50p coin

1 November 2018

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

Philip Hammond’s announcement that a special 50p coin will be issued to commemorate Britain’s departure from the European Union next year has fired the imagination of many a commentator. Though it is believed that the coin will display the Queen’s head on one face and the phrase ‘Friendship with all nations’ on the reverse, no specific design has yet been revealed – leading a number of people to dream up their own.

The Sun newspaper, which broke the story, hastily put together a mock up of how they envisaged the piece:

But others offered rather less literal interpretations of the chancellor’s proposal:

In other news…

Rakewell is looking forward to Alex Katz’s new book, in which the nonagenarian painter writes about some of the big names of art history in less than fawning terms. In its pages, Katz variously calls out Cézanne for his ‘clumsy, overworked surfaces’, describes Seurat’s Un dimanche après-midi à l’Île de la Grande Jatte as ‘a disappointment’ and rubbishes Whistler’s figures for a perceived ‘lack of substance’.


The Rolling Stones’ artist-in-residence, Ronnie Wood, is back – this time with a new book dedicated to the band’s set lists. The tome takes in 20 years’ worth of the drawings and observations that Wood scribbles over hand-written running orders for Stones concerts. As Wood tells The Times, the book also contains examples of Keith Richards’ hitherto unappreciated draughtsmanship: to wit, penis doodles with which the guitarist has ‘annotated’ Wood’s ‘canvases’. ‘Keith’s a bit like Rod [Stewart],’ he says. ‘Rod draws knobs everywhere.’

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