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Rakewell

The Rake’s progress: Frieze special

6 October 2016

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

Frieze is upon us, and the big guns of the art world have flocked to London. At yesterday’s fair previews, the Rake’s mole at Frieze Masters spotted an impeccably dressed Jeff Koons contemplating his next purchase. Unable to suppress her curiosity, she followed him round the stands until he stopped in front of a painting, seemingly transfixed by it. ‘It was the perfect Frieze moment,’ she tells the Rake. ‘Jeff just stood there, gawping at a picture of some disembodied breasts.’

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Visitors have been somewhat perplexed by the signage pointing the way between Frieze London and Frieze Masters. Heading up towards the latter, Rakewell was informed by one sign that the walk would take another four minutes. The next one, however, told him that it would take a whopping nine minutes. Just outside the pavilion itself, yet another sign assured him in no uncertain terms that the walk would swallow a further seven minutes of his time. ‘That’s Frieze for you,’ said one perplexed fair goer. ‘It distorts the very fabric of space and time.’

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A day at the fair itself is all well and good, but Frieze just wouldn’t be Frieze without an appropriately silly after-party at which to end up. So it was that the Rake headed to restaurateur Jackson Boxer and art director Lotte Andersen’s bash in the Dry Martini bar of the Meliá White House Hotel, just a stone’s throw away from Regent’s Park. ‘Its [sic] swanky but like backdoor swanky,’ promised the invitation. ‘Sort of like when you get let in from the back.’

Billed as a ‘guerilla party’, the evening featured (very, very loud) music from Rakewell favourite, artist Eddie Peake, and some truly baffling poster art. One such missive informed guests that ‘irony is over’, a phrase that proved a postmodern twist too far for one baffled German gallerist.

‘I don’t know what to make of it,’ he told the Rake when asked for a suitable portmanteau adjective in his native tongue. But gesturing over to a group of men apparently dressed in nappies, he added that reports of irony’s death had been greatly exaggerated.

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For better or for worse, the week’s excitements are far from over. On Friday, independent curators Sasha Galitzine and Olga Mackenzie will stage what they describe as a ‘dionysian canal procession’ along the Regent’s Canal. ‘It will be a mad, joyful and inclusive open air procession with vibrant performances from young artists’, says Galitzine. ‘Cake fetishising, bellowing and tie-dye what’s not to like?!’

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

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