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Rakewell

The Rake’s progress: last week in gossip

25 April 2017

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

Last weekend’s Observer gave Rakewell fascinating insight into Grayson Perry’s approach to culinary matters. Speaking to Tim Adams over lunch at an Islington gastropub, Perry confessed that he wasn’t much of a cook and that he was disinclined to order Arbroath smokies because ‘I’m loath to eat anything in a restaurant that involves toast. I can get that at home’. Having settled on a plate of partridge and teal, Perry still wasn’t entirely satisfied: ‘It’s a bit of a fiddle. Teal will stay in my lexicon as a colour rather than dinner.’

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French artists were curiously silent in the run-up to the first round of voting in their county’s presidential election. An exception to this is a Montpellier street artist by the name of ‘Efix’, who plastered images lifted from the Mr Men children’s books over candidates’ official posters. So it was that the visages of Monsieur Parfait, Monsieur Grincheux and Madame Autoritaire came to replace Emmanuel Macron, Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Marine Le Pen in the southern city. ’I told myself that it was necessary to dynamise the town and make things a bit more jovial’, the artist said – adding that he would himself be abstaining.

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A Twitter user has observed that the cover art for singer Frank Ocean’s new single, ‘Lens’, is a dead ringer for a Kerry James Marshall painting, A Portrait of the Artist as a Shadow of His Former Self. Coincidence? Or has sometime LA resident Ocean been to see Marshall’s retrospective at LACMA?

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Employees at Copenhagen’s National Gallery of Denmark were seemingly unpeturbed when a demanding email from director Mikkel Bogh dropped into their inboxes during the winter holidays. The message requested an urgent transfer of funds to a UK bank account. Sound fishy? Evidently not: the requisite cash was immediately wired on. Further requests from Bogh’s account followed – and it was only after 805,000 Danish Kroner (around £90,000) had been transferred that the museum got wise to the scam. Let’s hope that Bogh has changed his passwords…

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The Rijksmuseum has announced the winners of its prestigious Rijksstudio Award, which celebrates designs based on works in the institution’s collection. Rakewell’s eyes were immediately drawn to the submission of runners up Esther Pi and Timo Waag, whose ‘Eden Condoms’ see historic drawings and prints depicting Adam and Eve transposed on to condom wrappers. ‘The glimpses of paradise on the condom wrappers recall the bliss of Eden: the equality between the sexes and the unity between man, nature and God’, reads a statement on Waag’s Facebook page. ‘To be able to live our sexuality on those terms, without a sense of shame, guilt or fear, is according to Eden Condoms the way to paradise.’

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In Norwich, some students and academics at the University of East Anglia have complained that an installation of life-sized figures by Antony Gormley on top of campus buildings makes an uncomfortable allusion to suicide. Get a grip, says veteran art critic Waldemar Januszczak:

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

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