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The Rake’s progress: last week in gossip

28 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.

Lucian Freud was no sun worshipper. Speaking at the launch of ‘All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life’ at Tate Britain, Sue Tilley – the model for paintings including Benefits Supervisor Sleeping – revealed that Freud preferred his regular sitters to remain a whiter shade of pale. On one occasion, having cultivated an impressive tan on a holiday to India, Tilley visited the artist and found him apoplectic. ‘He was horrified at how brown I was’, Tilley recalled. ‘He didn’t use me for a year while my suntan faded.’


Intriguing news from the Brooklyn Museum, which is to play host to the globe-bestriding ‘David Bowie Is’ exhibition next month. According to the Wall Street Journal, the museum is to offer deeper-pocketed Bowie fans with the chance to purchase a so-called ‘Aladdin Sane’ ticket retailing at a competitive $2,500. Insane or not, the special tariff will grant its holders a private tour, a bundle of exhibition merchandise and a one-year museum membership. Where’s the man who sold the world when you need him?


A property outside Brussels that once belonged to Rubens is up for sale. Originally built as a military structure, Elewijt Castle was the artist’s home in his final years, and reportedly boasts some seven bedrooms, five reception rooms and ­– of course – a moat. Yours for a mere €4m…


Fantasy author Terry Goodkind raised eyebrows last week after taking to Facebook to describe the cover art of his latest novel as ‘laughably bad’ – and inviting fans to join in with the mockery in order to win a free copy. But his post attracted hundreds of outraged responses, with many piling in to defend the work of illustrator Basteien Lecouffe-Deharme – who himself also chipped in to register his disappointment.


Goodkind has since apologised – but should you fancy trading creative insults, his competition is still up


Finally, if you’re in the market for a free work of art, Eric Fischl will be giving away posters depicting Donald Trump as a clown when his exhibition at London’s Skarstedt Gallery opens this week. ‘Clowns are sinister and anarchistic’, the American painter says by way of explanation. Quite.

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