Where’s Weiwei?

16 September 2015

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

Seeing as circumstances have prevented Ai Weiwei from getting out much over the past few years, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the artist has been taking advantage of his trip to London.

Since Ai arrived in Rakewell’s home town last week for his forthcoming Royal Academy show, barely a moment has passed that hasn’t resulted in a new Instagram post. From the day he arrived, when we were treated to a fetching set of topless selfies, the artist’s camera phone has been working overtime.

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

It’s been gratifyingly easy to pinpoint Ai’s whereabouts ever since. Here he is looning about with Christiane Amanpour:

Getting close to Charles Saumarez Smith:

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

Lunching with Alan Yentob:

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

Giving a rare middle finger to the camera with Anish Kapoor:

And capturing the quizzical gaze of Channel 4 News’s Jon Snow.

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

In between engagements, he’s also found time to drop by the opening of Parasol Unit’s Belgian art show, and have lunch with Grayson Perry, and grab a cup of tea at Burlington House.

Yesterday saw Ai dropping by Tate Modern’s new show, ‘The World Goes Pop’, where he snapped Chris Dercon and Uli Sigg, the former Swiss ambassador to China.

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

His appearance at the Bankside museum’s exhibition prompted a few Instagram commentators to suspect he was snubbing his own opening – they needn’t have worried. Ai was back at the Royal Academy at 6pm sharp, looking gregarious as ever.

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

Rakewell can only hope that Ai’s frantic schedule has left him with enough energy for tonight’s talk with Tim Marlow. As he told the Guardian recently, ‘The handshaking and the champagne are not what I’m very good at’. Given the evidence thus far, the Rake can’t help but suspect the artist is being too modest.

Got a story for Rakewell? Email tips to rakewell@apollomag.com

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