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The Rake’s progress: last week in gossip

21 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.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z have caused the art-world commotion of the week with their duet Apeshit, the video for which is a Bande à Part-style tour through the Louvre. In it, the world’s most famous couple are filmed taking in not only the Mona Lisa, but also 19th-century masterpieces including Gericault’s Raft of the Medusa, David’s Coronation of Napoleon and Marie-Guillemine Benoist’s Portrait of a Black Woman. The Independent was among many to praise the video for ‘redressing an oppressive, exclusive power structure’. Others, however, suggested some rather weirder conclusions:


A forthcoming exhibition at the Museum of Style Icons in Newbridge, Co. Kildare will explore the life and legacy of Kurt Cobain, featuring examples of the late singer’s clothing, personal possessions, hand-written lyrics and drawings. The organisers have even gone so far as to ship Cobain’s car over the Atlantic – where it may well be safer. Last week, a fire broke out at the history museum in the grunge hero’s hometown of Aberdeen, Washington, inflicting severe damage on the collection, which included a display of Cobain memorabilia. According to the College Media Network website, objects destroyed in the blaze are likely to include ‘tee-shirts, artworks, a bench from outside his home in Seattle, and a couch he slept on at his friend’s home in the fall of 1985’.


Commiserations for football-mad German photographer Juergen Teller, who must still be smarting at his national side’s 1-0 defeat to Mexico over the weekend. But as he explained to the Guardian last week, the beautiful game hasn’t always been cruel to him. Some years ago, he had just been dumped by his-then girlfriend Sadie Coles when he got a commission to snap Pele. At the end of the now-famous shoot, Teller asked the great man if he would give Coles a call to make her change her mind: ‘Pele charmed her for 20 minutes, asking about her favourite players, then about Brazil, and art,’ Teller told Alex Roth. ‘And then he got me on the phone with her.’ Soon after, they were married.


‘Growing up in Copenhagen you cannot avoid having a relationship with Ikea,’ Olafur Eliasson told artnet News last week. ‘It is simply a part of everything.’ So it is that the environmentally conscious artist has partnered with the builder of the Billy bookcase to design a range of affordable, solar-powered products for domestic use. While details of the collaboration are still to be fleshed out – Eliasson says design talks between Ikea and Little Sun, his social enterprise, are due to begin this week – the artist’s mission to bring ecologically sound technology to the greatest number of people possible is not in doubt. Of course, there could be another benefit to the partnership: if Eliasson gets bit bored of the fare at his studio’s vegetarian canteen, there’s the tasty prospect of unlimited Ikea meatballs.


Meanwhile, celebrity wildlife guru Ben Fogle is not impressed by Christo’s Mastaba installation in Hyde Park…

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