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 Art Newspaper’s Martin Bailey has gone undercover to investigate artistic tastes at MI6. Using the Government Art Collection website, he has deduced that spooks at Vauxhall have a weakness for modern British art, having borrowed works by artists including Edward Bawden and Winifred Nicholson to spruce up their Terry Farrell-designed gaff. GCHQ, meanwhile, appears to have a weakness for more contemporary work: of the 28 works it has taken on loan from the GAC, 12 turn out to be by Michael Craig-Martin.
Following news of their engagement last week, there was much speculation as to where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would choose to make their first public appearance. The venue in question turned out to be Nottingham Contemporary, where they met charity representatives to mark World AIDS Day. Clearly enthused by his surroundings, the Prince even managed a little dance…
In other Royal news, comedian Jenny Eclair has had a crack at producing a likeness of the Queen.
Tuesday art class – we did portraits of well known people – I did the Queen as if she was on Ru Paul’s drag race pic.twitter.com/BmKoLzbZSA
— Jenny Eclair (@jennyeclair) December 5, 2017
Better than Lucian Freud’s effort? The jury’s out…
Last weekend, one of Donald Trump’s signature doodles of the Manhattan skyline fetched $20,000 – a tidy sum indeed, if shy of his auction record. Nevertheless, The Donald was categorically surpassed by his predecessor John F. Kennedy. At the same auction, an oil painting by JFK was sold for a staggering $162,000.
In an interview conducted to coincide with the closing of his ‘Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable’ show in Venice, Damien Hirst revealed his unorthodox approach to retail therapy: ‘I’m a shopper, so I’ll buy shit’, he told New York Magazine. ‘If I’m in a gallery and there’s an artist I like and they haven’t got a great work, I’ll buy a shit one just to have the buzz of buying’.