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The Rake’s progress: last week in gossip

12 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.

The Brexit backer and Leave.EU co-founder Arron Banks has been left red faced after the Sunday Times revealed that his dealings with Russia during and after the referendum may have been closer than he originally admitted. These included a visit to Moscow in February 2016, just as the Leave.EU war machine was cranking into gear. Quizzed about this trip, Banks (whose wife is Russian) claimed that it had been nothing more sinister than a family holiday. ‘No meetings were had with anyone, we visited the Hermitage Museum and went on a river cruise,’ he explained. Quite a weekend, then – particularly given the fact that the Hermitage is in Saint Petersburg, some 400 miles away from Moscow.


Farewell Malcolm Morley, winner of the first Turner Prize and pioneer of neo-expressionism. Not that he’d have described himself that way. As Oliver Basciano noted in an obituary of the artist last week, Morley was less than warm about his supposed legacy. Or, as he put it: ‘if I had known that I was going to invent horrors like Julian Schnabel and David Salle […] I would have cut off my hands.’


In an interview with Artnet, Christie’s wunderkind Loïc Gouzer spilled the beans on everything from Salvator Mundi to Malevich by way of some distinctly offbeat analogies. In the course of his chat with Andrew Goldstein, Gouzer compared the auction house to a piano and a coconut tree, and auctioneering to tennis. On this last, Gouzer was nothing but modest: ‘I’m no Federer, but I try to reinvent the game as much as possible within the boundaries of the art-market tennis court.’ What he makes of Boris Becker’s online bankruptcy auction is anyone’s guess.


The Garage Museum of Contemporary in Moscow is mounting an exhibition devoted to Juergen Teller, which coincides with the World Cup. To get into the spirit of things, the core of the show will consist of videos in which the photographer will film himself watching every one of Germany’s performances in the tournament. Has he never seen Gogglebox?


Finally, a picture of a ‘spontaneous meeting between two working sessions’ at the G7 summit has become an early contender for meme of the year. The photograph – which depicts Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and Shinzo Abe standing around a seated Donald Trump – was immediately picked up by social media users, and has been endlessly compared to a ‘Renaissance painting’. If nothing else, this just goes to show that Twitter really does need to brush up on its art history…

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