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David Beckham picks up the paintbrush

30 August 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.

Football’s first family are an arty lot. Victoria Beckham has made no secret of her passion for Old Master paintings and has shown them, as well as contemporary art, at her Mayfair boutique; her oldest son, Brooklyn, has published a book of his photographs. Now, it seems, Golden Balls himself is getting in on the act. An enterprising church in Aberdeenshire has written to various VIPs asking them to submit postcard-sized paintings for a fundraising auction, and Beckham is among the luminaries to have heeded the call. We have yet to find out whether Becks handles a brush as adroitly as he does a corner – the authorship of the pieces will be kept secret until the auction has concluded – but Rakewell suspects fellow former Red Devil and art enthusiast Eric Cantona may have competition.

In other news…

Plans are afoot to open a Donald Trump museum in Atlantic City, reports Artnet. Local resident Levi Fox believes such an institution is merited by the now-president’s impact on the run-down city – until 2016, it was home to part of Trump’s ill-fated gambling empire, and for some time he was the biggest employer in town. Should Fox get the go-ahead to open his venture, items on display will include all manner of Trump branded knick-knacks, from sweatshirts to a Trump teddy bear and historic photos of the casinos. Here’s hoping Fox can persuade the president to loan his ‘Renoir’.


In an interview with the Observer, Michael Landy revealed that, when it comes to unkempt studios, his partner and fellow artist Gillian Wearing would give Francis Bacon a run for his money. ‘Gillian’s messy’, he said. ‘When we first went out together, she couldn’t keep tops on pens, or tops on bottles in the fridge. We share a studio in Bethnal Green: she’s upstairs, I’m on the ground floor. She’s been on her own in there for the past few weeks, so I’ll have to phone ahead to be sure it’s clean, or reasonably clean before I get there – for my own sanity. She has to do a quick tidy up.’


Damien Hirst caused some commotion earlier this summer when he almost bared all on his Instagram account. Sharing a photograph of himself in front of one of his recent, Bonnard-inspired paintings, wearing nothing but red socks and pants, the artist asked his followers to come up with a caption for the scene for a chance to win one of his prints. The winner was nothing if not pithy: ‘twat’. ‘In the end I had to pick it as the winner because of its simplicity,’ Hirst says, ‘and because if you can’t laugh at yourself you’re fucked.’

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