Apollo Magazine

The Rake’s progress: last week in gossip

Smashing (Kusama) pumpkins; the pop star and the painter; and at home with Maggi Hambling

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

Oh dear. Yayoi Kusama’s exhibition at Washington’s Hirshhorn Museum has kicked off with a bang – although not a welcome one. Just days after the show opened to the public, a man attempting to take a selfie in front of the artist’s 2016 installation Infinity Mirrors – All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins lost his footing and collapsed directly on to the exhibit. According to the museum, the work sustained only ‘minor damage’, and will be back on show soon. Surely final proof that art exhibitions are not the ideal places to take selfies.


New Zealand pop star Lorde has broken a four-year recording silence, returning with an eagerly anticipated new album. While Rakewell can’t vouch for the music, the cover, created by Brooklyn-based painter Sam McKinniss, is an altogether more interesting proposition. ‘[…] It was really sweet of her—she wrote me some fan mail’, McKinniss said of the collaboration’s genesis. ‘She got my email address from a mutual friend and just wrote a really nice, warm note about how much she likes my paintings. I was really kind of flattered, so we agreed to get together for a coffee to hang out and get to know each other a bit’.


It is with great sadness that Rakewell bids farewell to Gustav Metzger, the Austrian-born titan of contemporary art. Some years ago, the Rake had the pleasure of meeting the master of auto destruction at (improbably) a garden party. From behind his sunglasses, Metzger explained to him that no item, however worthless, should ever be thrown away. Those in the know say that the artist’s unique approach to storage caused something of a headache for the assistants tasked with helping him move house…


In an interview with the New York Times, Maggi Hambling comes clean about her London digs. The painter confides to journalist Natalie Rigg that she has hitherto been somewhat reticent when talking about her studio-cum-pied à terre in Clapham’s desirable Old Town. ‘I always preferred to say I lived in Battersea because it had far more street cred,’ she said. ‘But in the end I just had to accept it.’

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