Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories. Follow @Rakewelltweets.
With expectations high for the winter art and design fairs and announcements from both the ICA Miami and, er, Airbnb, it’s been a big week for culture in Florida. Just when he thought he’d heard enough from the gateway to the Americas, reports have reached Rakewell that rapper Lil Wayne has had a substantial part of his $30 million art collection repossessed from his Miami home.
It seems Mr Wayne – ‘Weezy’ to his friends, ‘Dwayne Carter’ to his mum – has failed to pay a reported $2 million debt he owes to a private jet firm, and was subsequently slammed with a court order that allowed the authorities to confiscate his assets.
The Rake’s thoughts go out to Mr Wayne, but he can’t help but wonder what the rapper’s taste in art might be. Having once identified as the ‘renaissance man’ (‘…peep my repertoire’) and claimed to be in possession of ‘a code like Da Vinci’, he does not doubt Weezy’s discernment.
And that’s not all from the city of Scarface. Rumours have reached the Rake that actor Adrien Brody will showcase his painting talents during next month’s Art Basel Miami at a pop-up show organised by artist Domingo Zapata. According webzine Page Six, Brody has been sploshing the canvas ‘recreationally for a long time’, and has produced a series of paintings inspired by Pop Art. Whether the King Kong star’s daubs can match the mastery of art/film crossover heavyweights like Sylvester Stallone and Johnny Depp, Rakewell can’t say.
To East London, where artistic barriers are broken, conventions smashed and new paradigms are thrust into being. Naturally, then, it was only a matter of time before some clueless opportunist forward thinking young hipster from these parts opened a gallery dedicated exclusively to the selfie as an art form.
And so it was that Sussex-based publishing firm King & McGaw opened – wait for it – ‘The Art of the Selfie’, a pop-up gallery housed in the sprawling complex of Old Street Tube Station. The gallery’s website invites you to ‘ATOMISE YOURSELF & GET FLATFACED’, an instruction Rakewell would not hesitate to accept if only he understood what it meant. The show poses other questions, too. To wit: what took so long?
Finally, after calling out UK Culture Minister Ed Vaizey on the – ahem – unusual wording of his weekly email, the Rake has received recognition from on high. ‘The highly reputable Rakewell – Apollo’s “wandering eye on the art world” – is clearly an Ed Vaizey enthusiast having promoted him and described him as a “man of culture, man of action”’, reads the latest circular from Mr Vaizey’s office, ‘…with an endorsement like that who wouldn’t want to vote Vaizey as Computer Weekly’s most influential person in UK IT. Voting closes 5pm on 13 November…’