A$AP Rocky and Ai Weiwei Are Here to Answer the Art World’s Most Eternal Questions

The rapper and artist have thoughts about originality in art; Melania Trump tries graphic design – all the latest art world nonsense

Courtesy: Sotheby’s

Courtesy: Sotheby’s

Courtesy: Sotheby’s

Oh dear. Auction house giant Sotheby’s have made a new film pondering the meaning of originality in art, taking creative risks, and being ‘fearless’. And to answer such eternal questions, they’ve called on none other than artist Ai Weiwei and musician A$AP Rocky to share their thoughts. ‘Fearlessness, especially pertaining to art,’ Rocky says in the moody black-and-white clip, ‘man, that defines me and my career so many different ways.’ Ai adds: ‘Art has to be original. If there’s no such quality, then you cannot even call it art,’ If you liked that, then the artist has plenty more aphorisms for you in his new book Humanity (which he loses no time in plugging): a collection of quotations from the artist’s musings on ‘the resilience and vulnerability of the human condition.’

Speaking of potential art world bromances, we regret to inform you that emo rapper Lil Uzi Vert can’t wait to meet Jeff Koons, after hearing the artist is a fan. ‘Little Uzi is very poetic,’ [sic] Koons enthused in a Guardian interview in March, telling the reporter that he enjoys listening to him while lifting weights. ‘When I hear that, that’s cool. I want to meet him,’ Uzi told GQ. Make it stop.

Meanwhile Basquiat has suffered the ultimate humiliation … at the hands of the Daily Mail. The voice of Middle England is outraged that a documentary on Basquiat – nothing more than an ‘obscure New York artist’, the paper called him – scooped a Bafta instead of BBC wildlife doc Blue Planet. ‘David Attenborough was robbed!’ squawked the Mail, citing viewers upset that a documentary, watched by 380,000 people, had toppled one watched by 14 million.

There’s an artist in all of us, so the saying goes and it sounds like the First Lady of the United States has taken that addage to heart: personally designing the logo for her Be Best project, which (quite improbably) aims to promote positivity on social media. According to reports, the red, white and blue branding for the project, which spells out ‘Be Best’ in wobbly flat-tip marker lines, was the work of Melania Trump herself. Meanwhile critics have pointed out that the campaign pamphlet bears more than a striking resemblance to a Federal Trade Commission document produced under the Obama administration. And it’s not the first time Melania Trump’s work has been questioned – in 2016 she was forced to back down after falsely claiming she had a degree in architecture. As for her new career in graphic design, so far we’ll have to take her word for it.

In the Name of Art is our semi-regular compendium of (almost) unbelievable art world stories. Send your worst to digitaleditors@frieze.com

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