Apollo Magazine

The artist who can’t get enough of the Coen brothers

Stephen Case is drawing every character from the Coen brothers’ films (and there are a lot of them)

O brothers, try art now? Stuart C. Wilson/Stringer/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.

Few filmmakers inspire cult devotion to the same degree as Joel and Ethan Coen. Still, as the Hong Kong-based artist Stephen Case may be discovering, one can probably take fandom too far. Case has embarked on an epic project to draw caricatures of every single character from the brothers’ 17 films, from Blood Simple (1984) to the forthcoming The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.

Case has so far completed around 35 drawings, he tells Mental Floss, which seems impressive until one realises that more than 700 characters pop up across the Coens’ oeuvre. Whether he’ll finish is anyone’s guess, but one feels that Maude Lebowski – the unpredictable performance artist played by Julianne Moore in The Big Lebowski – would surely approve.

In other news…

Staff at a Moscow museum dedicated to the life and work of the Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov were alarmed last week after the place’s resident cat went missing. Named Begamot (Behemoth) after the sardonic talking moggie in The Master and Margarita, the missing mouser was described as having black fur and, more mysteriously, ‘a harsh character’. He was later found by police, minus his collar.


Everyone should have a prop, and for the Essex-based artist Lucy Sparrow, that means a large felt banana named ‘Basil’. ‘I’ve got an HGV licence and I pay my taxes, I just can’t seem to go out without my banana’, she told the Sunday Times. ‘I once dumped a man who wouldn’t let me bring Basil to bed. I don’t think that’s unreasonable.’

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

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