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The Rake’s progress: last week in gossip

20 March 2016

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

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger was refreshingly magnanimous in wake of the Gunners’ 3-1 defeat to Barcelona. Yet the language he chose could have come straight the mouth of one of today’s super curators: ‘We played against a team who has the best strikers I have seen,’ he told the BBC, ‘At some stage in our sport, we must admire art and they have two or three players who transform normal life into art. I respect that and I believe it is pleasure as well. For me, it is suffering.’

Curious. Yet Rakewell feels there may be something more to Wenger’s quasi-art criticism. You only need to count the number of unwieldy references to the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in punditry to see that footie and art are natural bedfellows. Indeed, the beautiful game even inspired Philippe Parreno and Douglas Gordon to create their critically acclaimed film Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait. 

Exactly which players Wenger was referring to, the Rake is none the wiser. Yet still he speculates: Messi for this year’s Turner Prize?


The Rake is puzzled by Kanye West’s latest Twitter burbles. ‘My tweets are a form of contemporary art only compromised by people trying to tell me what to tweet and not to tweet…’, he claimed. Having repeatedly compared himself to the masters of the Renaissance, Rakewell is intrigued that he’s now decided to confine his ‘timeless’ art (as he once put it to Steve McQueen) to mere ‘contemporary’ status. Could this be taken as a sign that the infamously hubristic West has at last discovered humility? Or his he merely in competition with Shia LaBoeuf for the title of internet buffoon of the year? We need answers.


In more pressing news, the art world has a new star. Dagger II, a black labrador from Long Island, has earned the nickname ‘DogVinci’ for his painting exploits. According to the Daily Telegraph, the artistically gifted mutt has even sold a few canvases. What of his canvases, though? Perhaps unsurprisingly, his owner/dealer Yvonne Dagger describes them as ‘abstract’.

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