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Hans Ulrich Obrist as you’ve never seen him before

4 January 2019

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

Not a week into 2019 and we already have a contender for the year’s strangest exhibition. In the Swiss village of S-chanf, gallerist Aroldo Zevi is mounting a show of work by Francesco Bonami. Though trained as an artist, Bonami is best known as a curator – indeed, he hasn’t exhibited any of his own art for about 30 years. Entitled ‘50 Times Obrist by Bonami’, the exhibition consists of 50 imaginary portraits of ‘super-curator’ Hans Ulrich Obrist, who is variously pictured blowing up balloons, enjoying a coffee with Kasper König and staring out into space, ‘wishing to have interviewed Edward Hopper’.

Blowing a Green Balloon (2018), Francesco Bonami

‘Bonami’ – writes Bonami – ‘sees his colleague Obrist more as a fictional character than a real life person, or as a popular image or object like Warhol’s Campell Soup.’

In other news…

Prince Charles took to the airwaves over the festive season to discuss his eclectic music tastes in a special episode of Private Passions on BBC Radio 3. Among his favourite musical moments are Jean-Marie Leclair’s opera Scylla et Glaucus, the final movement of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony and – somewhat less traditionally – the late Leonard Cohen’s ‘Take this Waltz’. Of this last, Charles did not hesitate to wax lyrical: ‘I find it very moving,’ he told presenter Michael Berkeley. ‘The words are so extraordinary, sort of Salvador Dalí-like, they lead you into this remarkable Dalí-like world.’


The last time Rakewell caught up with Drake, the Canadian rapper had just issued a new single that got him into a spat with James Turrell. If recent social media activity is anything to go by, his own opinions on art remain out of step with those of the academy. On Christmas Day, Drake took to Instagram to showcase some delightful abstract daubs apparently created by his one-year-old son Adonis. ‘Adonis > Picasso’, he wrote in the caption – which, if nothing else, certainly proves that quality is a subjective old thing.


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Adonis > Picasso don’t @ me 💙🎄

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