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I can’t get no… satisfactory statuary

11 August 2023

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

‘A rolling stone gathers no moss,’ so they say – but what about pigeon droppings? That seems to be the fate to which Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have been condemned, now that bronze effigies of the pair have been erected in their hometown of Dartford in Kent.

Sculptor Amy Goodman has professed that her aim was to capture the energy and chemistry of the twosome as they were in the 1980s – and with Jagger strutting his stuff in skin-tight jeans, while Richards is bent over his Telecaster, there’s no denying the duo’s dynamism. But all the same, Rakewell finds that his eyes are helplessly, ineluctably drawn to Jagger’s somewhat terrifying rictus gurn.

A closer look at Jagger’s gurn. Photo: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

Comparisons abound: Donald Trump in his more vituperative moments; Conrad Veidt in the Man Who Laughs; H.R. Giger’s Alien; Munch’s Scream; Goya’s Saturn. It seems unfair to go on – and Rakewell certainly doesn’t envy the sculptor’s task of capturing Jagger’s inimitable pout for posterity.

It is, though, worth remembering that this is by no means the first time that the frontman’s front teeth have been subject to such aesthetic scrutiny. In the early 1970s, Jagger is reported to have had a small emerald installed on one of his incisors – only for friends to continually mistake it for a stray piece of spinach. He swapped it for a diamond shortly afterwards. You can’t always get what you want, it seems.

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