Apollo Magazine

The Rake’s Progress: Last Week in Gossip

Harry Styles turns to painting, the new British Museum director's penchant for Prince, and why Arts Council initiatives sound like second-rate action films


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

Rakewell returns from his internet travels with glad tidings. Here in London, the art world is veritably quaking at the news that floppy haired renaissance man Harry Styles has taken to painting as a method of combatting the existential toil of boyband life. ‘He is not a lavish guy but art is one of his only luxuries,’ a source told The Sun. The young millionaire is himself a keen collector, and is apparently the proud owner of works by Banksy, as well as an ‘Andy Warhol-style Kate Moss painting’. Intriguing. What can we expect from the young master’s artistic trajectory, though? The Rake is none the wiser, and just hopes that in painting, Styles has discovered that all important second direction.


In a BBC Radio 4 profile of Hartwig Fischer, journalist Chris Bowlby suggested that the incoming British Museum director was ‘a bit of a mysterious presence’ – a publicity shy figure who could nevertheless be ‘at the centre of attention with his sort of silence’. But a couple of things did become clear. Firstly, that Fischer is a workaholic – so much so, that having suffered a broken leg when while in charge at the Museum Folkwang in Essen, he called David Chipperfield in for a meeting in his hospital bedroom (Chipperfield recalled his client clad in ‘something that looked like a full body cast’). And secondly, that he’s a man of catholic tastes. Former colleague Christiane Kuhlmann let slip that Fischer is ‘a great supporter of Prince… he admired the Purple Rain record. I think he’s a real child of the ’80s.’ The Rake is already looking forward to Bon Jovi’s first gig in the Great Court…


Buyers beware: this week, a collector told the Baer Faxt art industry newsletter that he had spent more than $18,000 on an Ed Ruscha print, paid through LiveAuctioneers to a mysterious dealership calling itself ‘Duchovnys Art’. He never received the said work, and all attempts to get his money back were fruitless. Indeed, he received not so much as a response from the sellers (respectively, Sean Duchovny; Sean Rudy; Gio; and Christopher D. Morris). A cursory companies search of ‘Mr Duchovny’ and his track record reveals the following:

‘The Duchovnys Art company has been functioning successfully for 2 years now and its status is active – proposal to strike off. The firm’s office is based in Hastings at 68 Reedswood Road. Postal code: TN38 8DW. There is a single director in the firm at the moment – Sean Duchovny, born on January 1971, and appointed on 26 November 2014. In addition, a secretary is employed – Sean Duchovny, born on , appointed on 26 November 2014. As of 16 January 2016, our data shown no information about any ex employees on these positions.’

Which is all terribly transparent. Readers in Hastings: Rakewell needs your detective skills.


Oscar season is almost upon us, and it seems as though Arts Council England are getting in the mood prematurely. Last week, the organisation announced three new funds, two of which are aimed at ensuring broader diversity in the culture sector, the other intended to provide support for fundraising. Noble causes all, and unquestionably necessary. But as for the names of the new initiatives – ‘Elevate’, ‘Unlimited III’ and ‘Catalyst: Evolve’… well. Word association was never Rakewell’s forte, but even so, he can’t help but wonder why the phrase ‘straight-to-DVD Vin Diesel vehicle’ is still ringing in his ears.

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

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