Apollo Magazine

The Rake’s progress: last week in gossip

Speech recognition software needs an update in Hull, Paris Hilton picks up a paintbrush, how heavy are Damien Hirst's bronzes, and an artist objects to 'Broadchurch'

Rakewell: Apollo's roving eye on the art world

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 Hull, the City of Culture festivities may be inspiring rather too much enthusiasm. Speaker’s Corner by Michael Pinsky is a project consisting of a giant LED screen fitted on to the Humber Estuary’s tidal barrier. When members of the public speak into a microphone, their speech is translated into text, which appears on the screen. An algorithm is meant to stop unsuitable messages appearing, but the programme is apparently not yet attuned to the Hull accent and a number of wags have got their messages across. In recent weeks, residents of Humberside have been treated to missives including ‘send nudes’, ‘big hairy man hammock’ and, more poetically, ‘i am drunk’.


Paris Hilton is many things: reality TV star, fragrance tycoon and, apparently, the world’s highest paid female DJ. But did you know she is also a painter? In an interview with Marie Claire, she tells Irin Carmen that though she has never exhibited her art in public, she has received offers to present it at the next Art Basel Miami. We can only speculate as to what to expect. Hilton describes her aesthetic as ‘Warhol-esque of now.’


The Rake has been thinking about Damien Hirst’s exhibition at the Palazzo Grassi ever since he first saw it, and about the headless bronze colossus that is its centerpiece, in particular. The exhibition’s fantastical premise is that, along with the rest of the pieces on display, the statue was dredged up from an ancient shipwreck at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. At 18m high, the statue almost scrapes the ceiling. Can it really all be bronze? Wouldn’t it be more fun if it were made of plastic? Perhaps the show’s title – ‘Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable’ – is something of a clue?


Art is often used as set dressing for films and TV shows, (see Tom Ford’s John Currin-heavy Nocturnal Animals, or the Rake’s personal favourite, Riviera) but its use is rarely contentious. However the Mirror reports that the artist Angela Hewitt is demanding compensation from the producers of ITV’s Broadchurch for including one of her watercolours in the show’s mise-en-scène without her permission. Kudos, the company responsible for the detective series, has rebuffed Hewitt’s claims as ‘opportunistic’. Hewitt insists that association with the show – loaded as it is with rape, murder, and clunky dialogue – may cause lasting damage to her reputation.


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