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The Rake’s progress: last week in gossip

7 June 2018

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

To Paris, where artist Andy Picci is about to unveil a new body of work dedicated to the Franco-Swiss model and reality TV star Nabilla Benattia. The exhibition at Joseph Saint Martin gallery consists of some 20 famous portraits of women – including the Mona Lisa – on to which Picci has photoshopped Benattia’s features.

While Nabilla may not be familiar to international visitors, Picci may well be. In 2015 he staged an art project-cum-prank in which he dressed up as the rock star Pete Doherty – and duly found himself splashed over the cover of the Parisien newspaper, which had taken him for the real thing!


Speaking to the Observer last weekend, Grayson Perry set out his case for donating money to the visual arts. ‘What could be better than sponsoring art?’, he asked interviewer Miranda Sawyer. ‘You can socialise, drink and look at art all at the same time! Theatre, you’re stuck in the dark without a drink for fucking hours!’


For an interview with the Sunday Times, Bill Clinton invited Josh Glancy into his Chappaqua home, allowing the journalist a glimpse of the former US president’s collection of memorabilia. Highlights included two ‘threadbare’ flags, one British, one American, created during the liberation of Paris in 1944, and a bronze cast of Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin’s historic handshake on the Oslo Accords. And then, perhaps most intriguingly, a number of ‘framed sketches that Bono draws for Hillary on her birthday’…

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