Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.
Much excitement in New York this week, as stars including Rihanna, Katy Perry and Cara Delevingne stepped out on Monday evening to attend the Met Gala. The gala has been held since 1946 as a fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, and traditionally marks the opening of its new exhibition. But it has become the ultimate red-carpet event, earning the soubriquet ‘the Oscars of fashion’.
This year, the dress code was ‘Avant-Garde’, chosen to celebrate the opening of an exhibition devoted to Comme des Garçons designer Rei Kawakubo. And all was going smoothly, until a Russian performance artist turned up to showcase his, erm, naked ambition. Fyodor Pavlov-Andreevich had stripped and been sealed in a transparent box before being dumped at the entrance to the Met as the great and the good mugged away at the cameras.
Pavlov-Andreevich has form for this sort of thing, having previously performed stunts at events including the opening of the Venice Biennale and a party at Christie’s in London. Sadly, gala guests didn’t get to see as much of his performance as they might have liked. The Met’s guards quickly moved to cover the box and dragged it away before firefighters turned up to free the artist. He was subsequently arrested and now faces charges of ‘public lewdness, obstructing governmental administration, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct’.
Shame. Given the avant-garde dress code, nobody could complain that Pavlov-Andreevich had been thinking inside the box.