The Diary: Adam Dent's 'Palazzo Ponzi'; Brontë sisters' handwriting; Paul McCartney in Las Vegas; David Hockney's blockbusting biography; Maggie's End returns
Friday 20 March 2009
Inspired by fraud
The artist Adam Dent has just finished a drawing called 'Palazzo Ponzi', inspired by the $65bn conman, Bernard Madoff, who had the likes of Steven Spielberg and Kevin Bacon on his books. Dent's work features a facade of the Palazzo Ponzi covered in loggia housing busts of those ripped off by Madoff's Ponzi scheme, which defrauds customers (including Bacon and Larry King) by using money from new investors to pay returns to old. There are tablets inscribed with the names of organisations defrauded while tattered flags bearing the insignia of the banks and insurance companies who also lost billions hang from the palazzo roof. "There are so many Madoff losers that I've had to do a whole editioned printed terrace of palaces to include them all," said Dent.
Graphologists examining the handwriting of the Brontë sisters say they have garnered a deeper impression of the siblings' personalities. Diane Simpson, with The Brontë Parsonage Museum, has concluded that Charlotte was a fiercely motivated workaholic, Emily bore signs of TB years before anyone realised, and Anne was intellectually superior to her sisters. Searing biographical insights or hocus pocus?
Love me do?
Paul McCartney hosts a show in Las Vegas next month (19 April) in which 2,000 couples will be serenaded by McCartney for a 1960s-style revival of hugging and kissing. All well and good as a display of affection but it's a shame the event, called 'Sin City', comes months after Valentine's Day, when the audience actually booked their tickets for this "spontaneous" romantic outburst.
A nice cuppa
To coincide with the Royal Academy's retrospective of David Hockney, Century announced this week that it will be publishing a similarly blockbusting biography. Hockney has given his approval to the book – the first about him in 20 years – offering interviews, access to friends and family and his notebooks. It will be written by Christopher Simon Sykes, Eric Clapton's biographer, who first met Hockney when the artist popped round to his East Yorkshire farmhouse for, what else, a cup of good Yorkshire tea.
Death becomes her
It's a controversial play that opens with Margaret Thatcher's death which was sponsored by a group of unions which caused a stir up north and is now coming to rock audiences down south. 'Maggie's End', a drama inspired by rumours that the Labour Party was planning to give the former Prime Minister a state funeral when she died, is to be staged at the Shaw Theatre, London from 7 April. It was first performed to coincide with the annual Durham Miner's gala and is sponsored by the NUM, GMB and RMT among other unions.
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