<iframe src="//www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-PWMWG4" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden">

The Rake’s progress: last week in gossip

31 July 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 Rake is getting excited about Final Portrait, the forthcoming Giacometti biopic starring Geoffrey Rush as the modern master. The film’s producers collaborated with the Paris-based Giacometti Foundation to create an exact replica of the Swiss artist’s studio in Paris, complete with convincing copies of his sculptures – which were produced on the proviso that they be destroyed once shooting had finished. ‘We had to destroy all the sculptures,’ producer Gail Egan tells the Observer. ‘[…] You don’t want a lot of fake Giacomettis hanging around. [The foundation] has an artist to protect. We completely understood their nervousness’.

And rightly so. When Timothy Spall starred in Mike Leigh’s Turner biopic a few years back, the performance involved him painting a canvas in the style of the artist. The work in question, a reproduction of Turner’s Helvoetsluys to which Spall added ‘personalised blobs’, subsequently went missing. Let’s hope the same fate doesn’t befall any of Rush’s ‘stick men’.


Rakewell spotted a lightly bearded Damien Hirst at the opening of (scarily) young British artist Blondey McCoy’s show at HENI gallery, Soho, last week. Hirst, it turns out, has actually collaborated with McCoy one one of the new works. As McCoy tells i-D: ‘Damien saw the mock ups of the mirror works and said “Do you know what? That would look fookin’ beauty printed on a massive spin painting”’.


Sandy Robb, a Scottish graphic designer, made headlines back in 2005 when he noticed that the painter Jack Vettriano had copied figures in The Singing Butler from an illustrator’s reference manual. But it seems there are no hard feelings between the pair. As the Daily Record reports, Robb and Vettriano recently crossed paths in a bar in Edinburgh . ‘Vettriano moved into a flat quite near the Oxford Bar and that’s where I met him’ says Robb. ‘We had a drink and I told him I was the guy who went to the papers’. Perhaps Vettriano was out celebrating: a survey has just declared The Singing Butler to be the UK’s third-favourite work of art.


For better or worse, Donald Trump has of late been the subject of a lot of art. But few would have imagined the president himself to be a draughtsman. Last week, Trump’s own drawing of the New York skyline sold at auction for $29,184. Drawn by the then-reality TV star in 2005, the picture was originally created for a charity auction to benefit worldwide literacy. Rakewell applauds that sentiment, but – speaking on purely aesthetic terms – can’t help but notice the childlike cityscape’s uncanny similarity to the @TrumpDraws parody account on Twitter…

Presidential vision: Donald Trump’s New York skyline

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