Apollo Magazine

The Rake’s progress: last week in gossip

The art of the sausage roll, Terence Conran’s childhood, and Eric Cantona’s little pen and notebook

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 week, the Newcastle-based bakery chain Greggs outraged some people (and amused more) by coopting the Nativity to market its savoury goods. The image in question showed the Three Wise Men surrounding a manger, in which the spot usually occupied by the baby Jesus was instead filled with one of Greggs’ signature sausage rolls.

Hooway in a manger!

Inspired by the #Greggsgate furore, Welsh artist Nathan Wyburn decided to create his own artistic response. Using one of the chain’s sausage rolls as a brush and a sachet of ketchup for paint, Wyburn took it upon himself to create his own, erm, meaty portrait of the Messiah. ‘Lord Jesus spelled backwards is ‘Susejd Rol’ after all’, Wyburn wrote on Facebook.


In a Q&A with the The Guardian, Terence Conran reveals that, had he grown up in today’s safety conscious world, he might never have seen such success. Recalling his recovery from a burst appendix as a child, the Habitat founder remembered that he began making dolls’ house furniture to pass the time, with his mother eventually allowing him to set up a workshop in his back garden. ‘’Elf and safety would have been hopping mad because here I was turning metal on a lathe without safety glasses,’ he admits.


The footballer, poet, actor and all-round Renaissance man Eric Cantona has published a book of his sketches. Cantona’s tome is called My Notebook, and features 100 or so drawings that, says The Local, represent his reflections on ‘sex, death, ageing and madness’.

Cantona, who has been a keen draughtsman since childhood, is said to carry a sketchbook wherever he goes. ‘While you pretend you are very busy with your text (messages) I have my little pen and notebook,’ he writes in the preface. Nevertheless, he is still striving to achieve his stylistic aims. ‘I wanted to draw like a child. I sometimes even closed my eyes […] I wanted to get back to my innocent, unconscious self. But I haven’t quite been able to’. Should you feel like sending Rakewell an early Christmas present, look no further…


Ever felt air travel could be more creative? Chinese artist Qinmin Liu has you covered. According to ArtNet, Liu became so frustrated with conventional airlines that she decided to create her own. ‘I hate traveling,’ she says. ‘Every time I go back home I spend 14 hours in an airplane, and I’m always thinking about their service – the food, the movies, the quality of attendants, and even the smell, and wondering: Is there something I can do about this?’ The answer to the question turned out to be a new carrier she calls ‘Angelhaha’, which will operate as both a means of transportation and an art project in itself. Its maiden voyage? Why, ArtBasel Miami Beach of course…


And finally… the stars aligned around Christie’s sale of Salvator Mundi last week, when auction house bigshot Loic Gouzer hailed an Uber in New York…

my Uber driver this morning ( or when stars allign ) thank you friends #youknowwhoyouare

A post shared by Loic Gouzer (@loicgouzer) on Nov 15, 2017 at 9:37pm PST

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

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