The Diary: Joseph Fiennes; War Horse; Drive; Hyo Myoung Kim; Haidee Becker


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The Independent Culture


Fiennes art

Joseph Fiennes is set to become a work of art. At next month's Performa, New York's biennial of performance-based visual art, the actor will star in Happy Days in the Art World, by Elmgreen & Dragset. The Scandinavian artist duo is best known for irreverent installations – they placed a replica Prada store in the middle of the Texan desert and transformed the Danish and Nordic pavilion at the 2009 Venice Biennale into a sinister collector's house, complete with body in the swimming pool. For Performa, they have created a witty autobiographical work about the perils of collaboration, creative deadlock and artists as celebrities based on Samuel Beckett's Happy Days and Sarah Thornton's Seven Days in the Art World. Fiennes will play one of the artists opposite Charles Edwards (last seen as Andrew Aguecheek in Peter Hall's Twelfth Night). The artists have designed the set and will make cameo appearances. Intrigued? The piece previews at Glasgow's Tramway on 21 and 22 October.

The goose stays in the picture

As scene-stealing performances go, the goose in War Horse is hard to beat. He may be smaller than his equine counterparts, but what he lacks in spectacle, he makes up for in quacks, flaps and comic timing. Now the noisy puppet has caught the eye of Hollywood. The artistic director of the National Theatre, Nicholas Hytner, has revealed that Steven Spielberg was so taken with the fowl, that he wrote him into his movie. "The film is a new adaptation of the book, not the National Theatre production," a source tells me. "Dreamworks bought some intellectual property aspects of our adaptation – there are some things in the play that aren't in the book – one of which was the character of the goose." The theatre can't reveal how much Dreamworks paid for the goose; rumours that he now demands his own dressing room at the New London Theatre are unconfirmed.

Ryan's jacket required

Forget the politics of ultra-violence, the crucial question raised by Drive is where did Ryan Gosling get that jacket? The anti-hero refuses to be parted from his silky, scorpion-design bomber even when it's spattered with blood and guts – so who designed it? Step forward, Erin Benach (who worked with Gosling on Half Nelson and Blue Valentine). "They used the tailor Richard Lim of High Society in LA," I'm told. "It was inspired by Korean souvenir jackets from the Fifties and Kenneth Anger's film Scorpio Rising." So now we know. There were 13 versions of the bespoke jacket – satin with wool collar and cuffs – made for the shoot. A website, Steady, is now selling a replica for $159.99, but there's no guarantee that it will make the wearer as cool as the Driver himself.

Follow the leader

More sartorial news, this time from Art London. Gazelli Art House are showing new work at the fair by the Korean artist Hyo Myoung Kim, 35, inspired, improbably, by David Cameron's dress sense. The Prime Minister is depicted in the abstract digital portrait as a set of stripes – black for his suit, white for his shirt, royal blue for his tie and rosy pink for his face. "I was watching television and Cameron was talking about the financial crisis," says the artist. "It wasn't the content that struck me, but the fact that everything was really shiny. His suit, his tie, his face. The suit became the content for me." The idea sparked off a series, "Portraits of Suits", in which the artist deconstructs the bland uniform of leadership. Also on sale (for £2,500) are his takes on Obama and Sarkozy. Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband are available on request, should you feel the urge.

Jerusalem portraits

Last year, the artist Haidee Becker moved her studio to a former brothel in Archer Street, behind the Apollo Theatre where Jerusalem was enjoying night after night of sell-out success. In the last month of the run, she left a note for the show's star Mark Rylance at the stage door, asking him if she could paint his portrait. He appeared at her window 10 minutes later and suggested that Becker, 61, paint him in character at the theatre, along with the rest of the cast as they killed time backstage. Now, as the play returns to the West End, Becker's portraits are going on show at Bocca di Lupo, also on Archer Street. The fashionable Italian restaurant is owned by Becker's son, Jacob Kennedy, and normally features Becker's large, food-inspired canvasses on the walls.