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The Rake’s progress: last week in gossip

22 January 2018

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

Margaret Thatcher famously insisted that she was ‘not for turning’ – which is more than can be said of some of her predecessors. According to the New Statesman, a ‘shadowy cell of MPs’ has been responsible for repeatedly rotating a bust of Oliver Cromwell in a House of Commons stairwell, so that the Lord Protector’s face was turned towards the wall. It was only when some bright spark thought to affix a ‘please do not touch’ sign to the bust that the ‘Butcher of Drogheda’ was restored to his place of prominence.


As any amateur chef knows, tracking down the right noodles for a particular dish can be a tough call. Mona Hatoum, it seems, shares their anxiety. In an interview with the Financial Times, the artist – who moved back to London in 2015 following a long stint in Germany – showed off a group of intricate sculptures created from pasta, indicating one that needed repair. ‘I found the right rice noodles in Berlin,’ she said. ‘I hope I can find them again.’


In an unexpected development, Damien Hirst’s hitherto run-of-the-mill Instagram page has suddenly become an art-world must-follow. Whether or not the artist himself has taken control of the account from his assistants is a subject of debate. But it certainly bears the hallmarks of his inimitable prose style…


Rakewell has previously reported on the adventures of many an artist-cum-rock star manqué. But gallerists, too, have had their air guitar moments. Last week, London art dealer Matthew Flowers took the opportunity to remind the world of his past life as a member of British new wave group Sore Throat. The career change, it seems, was a good move…

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

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