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The Rake’s Progress: Frieze Week in Gossip

17 October 2015

A week’s notes in gossip, scandal and absurdity

As Frieze week draws to a close in London, you could forgive Rakewell for feeling a little sleepy. Alas, there are events to gatecrash and no time to snuggle down for forty winks in the beds of Frieze’s ‘chill-out zone’ – the sheets of which must be sorely in need of a turn in the tumble dryer by now. Still, at least the Rake didn’t have the misfortune of one of his colleagues, who after a long night of gallery-hopping, ended up on an express train to Watford, several dozen miles outside London’s vast city limits. It was, he admitted, rather a long walk back to Regent’s Park.

Pity the poor staff at one central London gallery that launched its new exhibition this week. A party in its basement got off to a stomping start, before one of the gallerists sparked a cigarette indoors, encouraging fellow smokers to do likewise. By the end of the night, Rakewell understands, the premises had become an inadvertent homage to Damien Hirst’s Crematorium. Meanwhile, a large vinyl work on the floor was all but destroyed by the revelling guests’ overenthusiastic dancing.

Rakewell draws readers’ attention to Artforum’s evergreen ‘Scene & Herd’ column. It seems the august rubric may be in need of a crash course in British colloquialisms, having described MoMA trustee AC Hudgins’s visit to the Oscar Murillo show at Mayfair’s David Zwirner gallery as ‘a rare visit to Blimey’. Blimey indeed – wherever that might be.

Frieze wasn’t the only event grabbing the headlines in London this week. The Art Fund revealed the winner of this year’s ‘Edible Masterpiece’ competition, as chosen by a ‘judging panel of creative experts’ including the notoriously outspoken Guardian art critic Jonathan Jones. The winner, Priley Riley’s recreation of Michelangelo’s God & Adam from the roof of the Sistine Chapel created from segments of a tangerine, was certainly an original entry. As for its actual artistic merit, Jones was sanguine in his judgment: ‘It is a playful tribute’, he wrote on his Guardian blog, ‘Food is a joy, but it does not mean anything’. Has he never had the pleasure of alphabet spaghetti?

The Rake skipped Thursday’s Multiplied party at Christie’s, but his mole in South Kensington reports fishy goings-on. Having failed to reach a plate of salmon-based canapés doing the rounds at the auction house, one guest (‘Anna Wintour’s doppelgänger’, apparently) spent the next few hours yelling at any member of the catering staff who crossed her path: ‘I’ve been waiting for fish for an hour’, she was heard to cry. If only she’d been at the Timothy Taylor party, where a tray of sashimi lay on the bar almost untouched for most of the most of the night.

Finally, yet more calamitous news from Sonning-on-Thames, where it seems that Uri Geller’s controversial spoon sculpture has now vanished from its tasteful plinth. According to the BBC, there is as yet no explanation for the work’s disappearance. Was it stolen by disgruntled locals? Or did the self-styled ‘mystifier’ has simply use his psychic powers to render it invisible? Only time will tell. Or, failing that, a statement from the council.

Got some more Frieze week gossip? Send it to rakewell@apollomag.com.

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