Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.
In last weekend’s Observer, Rachel Whiteread opened up about gentrification, her forthcoming Tate show, and – perhaps most interestingly – her relationship with some of her noisier YBA contemporaries. ‘Art was never seen as a career when I was studying. Damien [Hirst] had a lot to do with changing the way people thought about it, with his ability to spin anything’, she told Eva Wiseman. ‘[…] I always think of Tracey [Emin] as the girl in the playground shouting “Me me me!” I’m very fond of her, but she plays on that and it seems to work. People love her for it.’
Hirst himself is gearing up for a comeback, this time with a secrecy-shrouded new show at the Venice Biennale. Speaking to the Financial Times magazine this weekend, the notoriously shy and retiring artist recalled being deluged with requests for money following his landmark 2008 Sotheby’s sale. ‘It got really mental,’ he told Catherine Mayer. ‘I got one letter from a guy who said him and his wife bought a house together and now the house is worth half what they paid for it and they had fallen out and tried to split up but they can’t split up because of the house and please could they have money for the house, would I buy it for the original price and wait for it to go up and weird shit like that.’ Who’d be an artist, eh?
The Rake has been paying close attention to the showbiz end of internet journalism, where actor Brad Pitt has been hogging the headlines. According to Mail Online, the recently separated star has taken a new hobby to get over his split from fellow thesp Angelina Jolie… sculpture. Pitt is reportedly spending up to 15 hours a day holed up in a Los Angeles studio, where ‘anonymous sources’ say he is learning the discipline of sculpture at ‘a fast pace’, supposedly under the tutelage of British artist Thomas Houseago.
ArtNet News has run an intriguing story about the Trump presidency’s most unlikely beneficiary: art supply stores. According to the article, the number of anti-Trump marches has led to record sales of art materials thanks to protestors making their own posters. Eager to know if art shops in his native London had seen a similar windfall following Saturday’s anti-Brexit march, the Rake popped into his local branch of CASS Art to find out. ‘In a word, no,’ he was reliably informed when he asked a shop assistant whether recent political developments had been good for business. ‘We did sell a few more marker pens and large sheets of paper, but not a lot changed’. Londoners clearly have much to learn from their American cousins.