Apollo Magazine

Jean-Claude Juncker tries his hand at art criticism (again)

The president of the European Commission has expanded – cryptically, of course – on his description of Angela Merkel as an ‘endearing work of art’

Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

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

The language used by politicians can be uninspiring at the best of times – so hats off to Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, for throwing some creative, if rather baffling, similes into the ring.

Speaking to German media back in April, Juncker described Angela Merkel as ‘a complete and endearing work of art’ who he could not imagine ‘disappearing into thin air’ when she steps down in 2021. Quite what Juncker meant was anyone’s guess, but he has now gamely consented to refine the terms of his compliment, if that’s what it was, to the long-serving German chancellor.

Interviewing him last week, Florian Eder of Politico returned to Juncker’s perplexing comments, asking him what genre his vision of Merkel-as-artwork would fall into. ‘Postmodern,’ came the cryptic reply. Emmanuel Macron, meanwhile, was classified as ‘Classical with a modern touch’.

All of which leaves Rakewell wondering where outgoing British PM Theresa May would figure on Juncker’s art-historical spectrum: Stuckist, perhaps?

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

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