Apollo Magazine

The Rake’s progress: last week in gossip

The artistic tastes of Britain’s spies, Prince Harry’s museum dance, Damien Hirst’s shopping habits and the rest of last week’s art-world tittle-tattle

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.

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’.

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

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