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Rakewell

The Rake’s progress: last week in gossip

25 July 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.

As reported here recently, Pokémon Go is all the rage, but despite the measured approval of institutions including the British Museum and MoMA, Rakewell suspects many art-loving gamers may find its cultural content somewhat lacking.

Thanks heavens, then, for Arcane Circus, a video game development team based in the Netherlands. The business’s latest venture describes itself as a ‘hectic life management game with a Cubist art style’ in which players must perform tasks in order to ward off virtual penury against a background of colourful and distorted cityscapes.

While the visual style actually owes more to Constructivism than Cubism per se, it is certainly inventive. ‘Use that new-found disposable income to buy items, unlock perks and earn new jobs,’ offers the website blurb. ‘Spend as wisely or recklessly as you like!’ No need to wonder how the Cubists themselves would have responded to that one.

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‘There has been huge interest in veganism and the vegan identity recently, and I think it’s important that vegan artists are given greater exposure,’ says Louise Wallis, curator of ‘ANIMUS’, an exhibition devoted to the work of vegan artists.

The show, which opens in north London’s Karamel restaurant this week, will be devoted to ‘startling, sensitive and surreal images of animals’. And why? ‘Animal-centric art is in vogue,’ Rakewell learns from the press release, which opportunistically cites Banksy as proof of the claim, ‘[…] and vegan artists are at the cutting edge.’ Go and, erm, have a butchers for yourselves…

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The Rake offers a warm welcome to Matt Hancock, Ed Vaizey’s replacement as UK culture minister – but the sentiment, alas, has not been universal. In his column last Friday, The Times’s Richard Morrison wrote that the outgoing Vaizey would be ‘genuinely missed’ by Britain’s culture sector. What’s more, he suggested, ‘the arts world’s suspicion is that Vaizey was sacked because he was seen as having “gone native” and become too interested in culture’. This, Morrison says, is not an accusation that Hancock – a ‘number-cruncher’ – need fear.

Hancock, however, has been busily attempting to prove his cultural credentials by throwing himself at the nation’s cultural powerhouses and tweeting selfies from them. ‘First stop as Digital & Culture Minister – to @SerpentineUK to see the wonderful Alex Katz: Quick Light exhibition,’ he tweeted on 16 July. Two days later, he was ‘thoroughly enjoying’ the National Theatre’s production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time at the Gielgud Theatre with its ‘Striking lead by @TheThomasDennis. And by 19 July, he was truly getting to grips with being a Twitter critic: ‘Rolling Stones exhibition at @saatchi_gallery is as good as the hype: captures 50 amazing years brilliantly’.

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

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