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Rakewell

The Rake’s progress: last week in gossip

The portraits of 'Pricasso'; Vittorio Sgarbi takes aim at Swissair; the sartorial secrets of Simon de Pury; and John Cale's debt to art

26 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.

Of all the odd anatomical phenomena Rakewell has covered here, nothing stands out quite so much as the work of 60-something Australian artist Tim Patch, AKA ‘Pricasso’. Over the past decade, Patch has been painting up to 1,000 expressive paintings per year using only his phallus as a brush. ‘The idea just popped into my head one day. I went home, put my d*** in some paint and started scrubbing,’ Patch told the Sun on Sunday, which helpfully points out that he charges just £200 for portrait commissions. Don’t all get your wallets out at once.

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The Italian art historian and critic Vittorio Sgarbi has released a extraordinary video on his Facebook profile in which he laments his treatment by Swissair and promises never to fly with the airline again. In a five-minute-long scatalogical rant, Sgarbi protests that he was interrupted by an air steward while ‘serenely’ using the toilet reserved for business class passengers, and ordered to relocate to the economy class facilities. Earthy he may well be, but down to earth? It would appear not.

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Want to know the secrets of art market megastardom? Look no further than the Guardian’s recent interview with the auctioneer Simon de Pury, who cheerfully compares his position to that of a DJ (‘You cannot prepare, there’s improvisation, you have to be in tune with your audience’). Most importantly, de Pury gave a glimpse into his impeccable wardrobe: ‘Even though today the dress code matters less, I don’t feel at ease without my double-breasted Caraceni suit’. Milan, here we come.

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Cardiff based artist Rhiannon Lowe has unveiled a new exhibition at the city’s Queens Arcade entitled ‘John Cale made me a woman’. Lowe, who recently underwent gender reassignment surgery, credits a chance encounter with the eponymous ex-Velvet Underground star in 2009 with inspiring her to explore her identity and ultimately have the necessary operations. According to the BBC, the show features a shrine to Cale and items of clothing embroidered with his name.

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

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