The Rake’s progress: last week in gossip

6 June 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.

The UK General Election is almost upon us, and if certain polls are to be believed, the race is tightening. Should he triumph against the odds, it seems that Jeremy Corbyn is already contemplating a rehang of the artwork at 10 Downing Street. According to the Sunday Times, the Labour leader has hinted that he would forego making selections from the Government Art Collection in favour of splatter paintings by Bosh, an artist from his Islington constituency. Corbyn already owns a work by the painter, which he bought from a charity shop stall for £80 in 2013. Could, erm, a vision from Bosh be heading to Downing Street?


Emmanuel Santos, the sculptor behind a now infamous effigy of footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, has now created a bust of Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale, which was unveiled in Cardiff ahead of the Champions’ League final last weekend. While Santos’s Bale likeness hasn’t quite received the same level of attention as his Ronaldo effort, social media users haven’t hesitated to point out that it bears more than a passing resemblance to Machete star Danny Trejo.


When a portrait of Shane Warne was unveiled at Lord’s recently, the Australian cricket star loudly revealed that his likeness had experienced a troubled gestation. ‘They had to adjust the painting because my balls looked too big in it’, he told the Guardian. From great googlies to, erm, great goolies, Warney has come a long way…


Last week, the Rijksmuseum welcomed its 10-millionth visitor since reopening in 2013. Haarlem native Stefan Kasper was given a personal welcome from director Taco Dibbits, and invited to spend a night alone with Rembrandt’s masterpiece The Night Watch, with room service courtesy of the museum’s restaurant. An evening spent dining alone with the Old Masters may not be everyone’s idea of a night out, but judging by a video of the occasion, Kasper looks to have had one Hals of a time.


Finally, some mathematicians have taken issue with Atkins, the engineering firm behind the design of Cambridge North train station. The building has been clad in aluminium panels with a geometrical motif that Atkins claims is based on Cambridge-educated mathematician John Conway’s ‘Game of Life’ automaton. But according to ArchDaily, sceptics have been quick to point out that it bears no such resemblance – and instead features a design clearly modelled on Stephen Wolfram’s ‘Rule 30’. Wolfram studied at Oxford – which would make this the academic equivalent of erecting a statue to Alex Ferguson outside the Manchester City stadium.

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

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