Apollo Magazine

The Rake’s progress: last week in gossip

Robbie Williams' verdict on David Hockney; Olafur Eliasson's archery habit; and Shia Laboeuf's art gets cancelled

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

Last week, the opening of David Hockney’s big retrospective at Tate Britain was the place to be seen. Celebrity attendees included several members of Duran Duran, Michael Palin, Ian McKellan and his X-Men foil Patrick Stewart. Best of all, to a star-struck Rakewell at least, was a sighting of ’90s boyband star turned perennial comeback kid Robbie Williams. Alas, it seemed Williams was far from impressed by the sell-out exhibition. Walking into the exhibition, he paused to look around and loudly declared: ‘I don’t rate these’.


Olafur Eliasson revealed his cultural highlights to the Observer this weekend, and his taste in books, music and film were just as high minded as you might expect. The artist’s sport of choice, however, may come as a surprise to fans. ‘I practise archery in my studio (I have a fairly large office with a target at one end) as a kind of meditation’, he said. ‘[…] The bow reflects a certain inner emotional state. So if I stop being able to listen to my intuition, I ask the bow to bypass my brain and I let the bow be the channel to allow my feelings to express myself. Of course, the bow does not actually really think, but it helps me to move from thinking to doing.’ Beats snooker, Rakewell reckons.


Pity poor old Shia LaBoeuf. The self-styled artist and Rakewell favourite landed himself in trouble a few weeks back, after getting himself into an altercation outside New York’s Museum of the Moving Image, where he has been staging a political performance piece since Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration on 20 January. Alas, LaBoeuf suffered another setback at the weekend as the museum closed the performance, deeming it a ‘serious and ongoing public safety hazard’. Mad, bad and dangerous to know – that’s our Shia.


We’ve seen some novel initiatives aimed at boosting museum engagement in recent years, but they don’t always go to place. Take a recent speed dating night hosted by LA’s El Segundo Museum of Art. The event was to have seen participants coming together to make conversation as they sketched portraits of one another. According to the LA Times, the event on Friday, 13 January attracted several women, who sipped wine and waited for their prospective drawing partners to turn up as Spandau Ballet’s True purred away on the soundsystem. By 6:30pm not a single man had turned up, but the attendees laughed it off and went ahead anyway. ‘Women might be prone to come to something more thoughtful,’ said one guest.

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

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