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Rakewell

The Rake’s progress: last week in gossip

7 September 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.

‘It’s not that I can’t find art beautiful. I just don’t know what to do, standing there in the gallery,’ broadcaster Victoria Coren Mitchell wrote in her Observer column last weekend. According to Coren Mitchell, the best thing about visiting museums and galleries is ‘the cup of tea afterwards’. Admirable though her honesty might be, Rakewell hopes it isn’t cause for a family spat: her brother Giles, after all, is the face of Sky Arts’ Fake! The Great Masterpiece Challenge, in which he visits Britain’s regional art galleries and challenges the public to sniff out deliberately placed fakes.

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Conspiracy theory of the week: according to Craig Williams, the ever-elusive Banksy is none other than 3D from ’90s trip hop band Massive Attack. According to Williams, the appearance of Banksy’s graffiti in cities across the world coincides eerily with the band’s touring schedules. This uncanny synchronicity has occurred in cities including Melbourne, Los Angeles and Toronto, where Banksy murals popped up immediately before or after the band came to town. Before committing himself to music, 3D was a prolific graffiti artist himself, and is also has links to Banksy’s erstwhile mentor Steve Lazarides. As the rumour spread to the further reaches of the international press, 3D (Robert Del Naja to his mum) finally deigned to comment on the theory: ‘Rumours of me being Banksy greatly exaggerated, we are all Banksy!’ he told a crowd of 27,000 people at a gig in Bristol.

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It’s been an enlightening month for anyone with an interest in the inner workings of the Serpentine Gallery. In the Observer, artistic director Hans Ulrich Obrist revealed that he ‘can’t live without Instagram’ and somehow finds time to read ‘30–40’ magazines per month, from which he cuts out articles to distribute them to his friends.

Meanwhile, in an entertaining interview with the Evening Standard, recently appointed CEO Yana Peel described her new gig as a ‘hashtag dream job’. But writer Charlotte Edwardes wasn’t sure about the art speak that may be the new lingua franca at the Serpentine: ‘For the untrained ear the art speak can be hard going. For example [Peel] describes the act of the hordes of kids on iPhones looking for Pokémon outside as,“overlaying the physical and the virtual.”’

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At the unveiling of the National Trust’s ‘Europe & us in 99 objects’ project at the residence of the Portuguese ambassador to London, NT director for London Ivo Dawnay admitted that the idea had been ‘stolen from Neil MacGregor […] However, I know for a fact that Neil MacGregor himself stole it from a 12-year-old girl.’

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

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