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The gossip from Frieze London's VIP day: from Gavin Turk's bargain taped banana to a fuzzy felt crime scene

Plus, Dante's divine inspiration and plans for a “new hybrid work, life and art centre” in Brussels

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Fair cop: artist Lucy Sparrow with her installation of a heist, with cash, stolen art and a police car made from felt Courtesy of DK Photos

Fair cop: artist Lucy Sparrow with her installation of a heist, with cash, stolen art and a police car made from felt Courtesy of DK Photos

Soft on crime

Last summer she recreated an entire pharmacy in felt and now Lucy Sparrow has used her trademark fuzzy fabric to construct a billion-dollar crime scene. Everything—from scattered gold bullion and bundles of cash to priceless art and a life-sized police car—is either made from, or covered in, felt. “It’s an all-female crew of bank robbers who have broken into a vault to steal art and money,” explains Sparrow, who sees her chaotic scenario as “a nice comment on how lots of money is going to exchange hands in the upcoming week”. The disrupted heist can be found at the START art fair at the Saatchi Gallery and, as Sparrow points out, the cost of her hand-sewn versions of Munch’s Scream, the Mona Lisa or Van Gogh’s Sunflowers is infinitely lower than that of the originals. And her felted £50 notes can be acquired for a mere £30—a total steal, in fact. 

Frédéric de Goldschmidt Photo: David Owens

Old curators never die…

The collector Frédéric de Goldschmidt was at Frieze London yesterday outlining plans for his swanky new space due to open in Brussels next month. This “new hybrid work, life and art centre” known as Cloud Seven will launch with an exhibition drawing on the film producer’s own vast collection. The show, Inaspettatamente (Italian for “unexpectedly”), takes its name from a work by the conceptual artist Alighiero Boetti (1940-94), who will seemingly be organising the show from beyond the grave. “Boetti is our ghost curator,” De Goldschmidt says—proof indeed that artists always live on (in spirit, curatorially, at least).

Performers in No One is an Island, one of two new works that choreographer Wayne McGregor is premiering this week Photo: Ravi Deepres. © BMW AG

Divine intervention

The choreographer and director Wayne McGregor is having a busy week. No One is an Island, his collaboration with the art group Random International, Superblue and BMW, has launched at Park Village studios. In the show, dancers interact with a kinetic sculpture in a reflection on how the human mind can empathise with artificial intelligence. Then at Covent Garden, the Royal Ballet (where McGregor is resident choreographer) is premiering The Dante Project, a ballet based on The Divine Comedy. The set and costumes have been designed by the artist Tacita Dean to mark the 700th anniversary of the poet’s death; Frith Street’s two spaces are showing new works by Dean (until 13 November).

Gavin Turk’s bronze banana is on sale for less than Cattelan’s fruity original Courtesy of Ben Brown Fine Arts

Turk’s bargain banana

UK artist and japester Gavin Turk has put his own spin on one of the most talked-about conceptual works of recent times—Maurizio Cattelan’s fruity banana work (Comedian) first seen at Art Basel in Miami Beach in 2019. Cattelan made waves worldwide when he taped an actual banana to the wall of Perrotin gallery’s stand with duct tape, selling the first edition in Florida for an eye-watering $120,000. Turk’s version in bronze, available at Ben Brown Fine Arts at Frieze London, carries a less hefty price tag of £30,000. The piece is called Giraffe (edition of ten) but a statement from the artist’s studio points out that “this is not a giraffe, it’s a banana stuck to the wall with duct tape and now at a point of decompositional stasis”. As Turk would say, you must be having a giraffe (meaning “a laugh” in Cockney rhyming slang).

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