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Lil Wayne’s birthday present saves an art student’s bacon

25 October 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

The last time Rakewell checked in with Lil Wayne, the rapper was in the unfortunate position of having some of his art collection repossessed to settle a debt to a private jet firm. It is thus heartening to hear that he has indirectly helped a cash-strapped British art student to pay off her tuition fees. Joy Bonfield-Colombara was considering dropping out of her course at the Royal College of Art in London, owing to financial difficulties, when she received an email from a friend of the Lollipop star. The missive turned out to be a request for an 18-carat gold necklace with a hand-carved pendant in the shape of Lil Wayne’s face (and two diamonds representing his ‘teardrop’ tattoos). ‘I was about to say “No, I’m really sort of trying to figure out stuff with school,”’ Bonfield-Colombara told the BBC. ‘They then said it’s for my friend’s birthday and told me who the friend was’. The commission does not cover all of the art student’s fees but does, she confirms, pay for ‘a chunk’.

In other news

Naomi Watts recently spoke to the New York Times about her art collection, which includes works by artists such as Harland Miller, Bill Henson and Scott Avett. The actor’s philosophy as a collector, she says, is that art ‘doesn’t go out of fashion. It’s like a tattoo.’ Presumably not the drunkenly acquired sort that one immediately regrets and spends painful months attempting to remove…


In the Observer last weekend, Tim Lewis interviewed Talking Heads founder David Byrne over lunch in the Rem Koolhaas-designed home of the Fondazione Prada. While they waited to be seated, interviewer and interviewee took a stroll through the current installation.  Chancing upon Carsten Höller’s Upside Down Mushroom Room (2000) – an artwork that does more or less what it says on the label – Byrne stopped to ponder the Belgian artist’s work. ‘What’s his obsession with mushrooms? Did he do a lot of drugs?’ One can only wonder what the musician would make of Höller’s contribution to the ArcelorMittal Orbit.

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