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The Rake’s progress: last week in gossip

6 February 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.

‘Matt Hancock would like to access your photos.’ Well, possibly. This was the message that greeted many people who downloaded the UK culture secretary’s new app last week, prompting more Twitter memes than a Kardashian wedding. Despite the ridicule, Hancock himself was in cheery spirits about the app launch. ‘We have never laughed so hard in the office,’ he told the Newmarket Journal. ‘My favourite was the guy who said that he was leaving Tinder for it.’


Maria Balshaw is not a museum boss to be messed with. Discussing recent allegations about sexual harassment in the art world with the Times, the Tate director recalls her time working as a waitress in the 1980s. ‘When men had got a bit drunk,’ she says, ‘they thought it entirely appropriate to put their hand up your skirt’. Her response? To drop a tray of flaming sambucas on them.


The relationship between football and art might generously be described as ‘troubled’ (see that Cristiano Ronaldo bust). So credit must go to Eddy Frankel, art editor of Time Out London, who has made a bold step towards reconciling his two great passions. Frankel is launching OOF, a biannual publication that describes itself as ‘the world’s only art and football magazine’. Though it’s too early to say just yet, the Rake suspects there may be a reason OOF is in a field of its own.


Saturday’s Times magazine contained a colourful interview with London art dealer and self-professed ‘oddball’ Eleesa Dadiani, whose Cork Street gallery is now accepting cryptocurrencies for art acquisitions. Discussing business, Dadiani was candid about her ambitions. ‘I’ve always been of the belief that money is not for the elite few, but for anybody who is able to make it,’ she revealed. ‘And I’m not going to lie to you. I want to make a shitload of money.’


Finally, much excitement at the Museum of London, where a section of a ‘fatberg’ removed from the city’s sewers last year is about to go on show. If you can’t wait to get a glimpse of the no-doubt delightful exhibit, the institution has put together a video giving an in-no-way excitable idea of what to expect…

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