Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.
The US presidential election is drawing ever closer, and the art inspired by it just keeps on getting weirder. Earlier this month, a less-than-flattering statue of Hillary Clinton in the nude appeared outside the Bowling Green subway station in Manhattan, depicting the Democrat contender as a cloven-hooved nude suckling a banker. The statue stood in place for two hours before a local woman called the police, who ordered the artist – a man who identified himself as one ‘Anthony Scioli’ – to remove it. Few mourned the sculpture’s disappearance (‘mediocre’ was probably the most favourable appraisal in the US press), and even Scioli – if indeed he did make it – refused to claim authorship in as many words.
In an in no way grandiose statement to the Daily Beast, he wrote: ‘I can not confirm nor deny being this particular artist of interest. I will however say how much I appreciate the exposure this piece is garnering. […] In these times of self-satisfying shameless self-promotion, perhaps the artist would rather let the piece stand on its own and not make it about themselves; or Maybe your artist will come forward and tell their side, maybe they will not, maybe it’s not any one individual, but rather a movement, a collective, an idea.’
Spartacus he ain’t. Meanwhile, on the other side of the political fence, Buzzfeed has launched a peculiar new meme, in which people with far too much time on their hands have doctored Renaissance scenes of the Virgin and Child and replaced Jesus’s head with that of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. You have been warned…
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) October 21, 2016