Apollo Magazine

The Rake’s progress: last week in gossip

The artist who wants you to 'thump a Trump'; Winston Churchill's ET moment; plus the rest of last week's art-world gossip

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.

Yet more news from the ever-stranger world of anti-Trump art. In Milwaukee, artist Brian Holoubek has created a coin-operated game in which players are invited to ‘thump a Trump’. The principle is basically the same as the bestselling game ‘Whack a Mole’, but, as readers may have fathomed, the blindly tunnelling mammal has been substituted for a likeness of the President of the United States. ‘I was in this winter gloom and I ended up with these machines’, says Holoubek. ‘It’s one of those things where you say, “Hey, I’m going to turn this into that,” but then I actually wanted to do it instead of just talking about it.’


Excellent news from Missouri’s National Churchill Museum. Researchers at the institution have dug up an 11-page document written by the great statesman in 1939, in which he pondered the existence of extra-terrestrial life forms. Entitled ‘Are We Alone in the Universe?’, the essay reportedly sees Churchill reasoning that, given the size of the universe, the possibility of other intelligent life cannot be ruled out. Alas for anyone wondering how Britain’s wartime leader might have fared as a sci-fi author, the document, which may have been intended for publication in the News of the World, will not be made publicly available due to copyright issues.


Turfed out of New York, Rakewell’s favourite interdisciplinarian Shia LaBeouf has taken his ‘performance art’ piece He Will Not Divide Us out to the provinces. LaBeouf has now set his contentious political work up outside Albuquerque’s El Rey theatre, and it has already attracted crowds of local youths. ‘We should start silent’, LaBeouf told an audience as the participatory work was unveiled. ‘Let’s just all start finding a quieter spot so we can make this place have some soul. Make it a sacred space…Even if that’s some hippie shit — I f**k with it’. You can watch the live stream here.


Waldemar Januszczak has taken a trip down memory lane. On Sunday, the art critic tweeted a series of pictures of Vincent Van Gogh he drew way back when he was trying to make his name as a cartoonist. Unfortunately, as Waldemar admitted, his youthful dreams of stardom in the comics were crushed early on. ‘These are rubbish, said the editor’, he wrote. ‘Is there anything else you can do?’. The rest, as they say, is history.

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

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