Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.
Much excitement at the news that David Bowie’s art collection is to go under the hammer at Sotheby’s in London this week. To celebrate the momentous occasion, the auction house has organised on a special programme of events, including talks, a DJ set and a designated ‘fuzzy felt area’ in which children can design their own Memphis-style furniture. And then there was a catered nocturnal screening of Julian Schnabel’s Basquiat biopic, in which the late Thin White Duke played Andy Warhol. Any guests hoping to sample Bowie’s unorthodox mid-1970s diet of cocaine, milk, and peppers, though, will have been disappointed: the fare at the screening was restricted to complementary popcorn and bacon sandwiches.
Not many people would describe Picasso’s art as a pile of ordure – except, that is, for the artist himself. According to his granddaughter, the painter used his daughter Maya’s faeces on a 1938 still life of an apple. Picasso that excrement from breast-fed infants ‘had a unique texture and ochre colour’.
In the run up to the US presidential election, artist Barbara Kruger made it known that she would not be casting her vote for Donald Trump. Commissioned to create a cover for the current issue of New York magazine, Kruger decided to make a blunt comment on the Republican, branding an image of the erstwhile reality-TV star with the word ‘LOSER’. Alas, her prediction turned out to be more than a little premature…