Enfant terrible Tony Macaroni has got himself a patron. He is known for his incendiary pieces of corruscating social commentary such as ‘Burnt Toast-taste the lies!’ (the faces of world leaders seared onto slices of Warburton’s), ‘Remind me to hate you’ (video in which he melts discarded Madame Tussaud busts) as well as anti-war protest piece ‘Colon Dreamscape’ which has been banned on the grounds of indecency. He is also widely recognisable on the arts scene for his abrasive posturing and loathing for politicians, so Macaroni’s decision to accept financial support from a notorious billionaire has struck many as strange, with critics branding him a sell-out.
Q: Rumour has it that you’ve been adopted by Russian Oligarch Steppan Izzinovavikovnavich as his personal artist.
TM: (Nervously) Yes, so?
Q: Doesn’t it go against your anti-capitalism, anti-establishment mores?
TM: Sure, some may say that it goes against every fibre of my being to accept the blood-rinsed cash of one of the world’s biggest parasites. I certainly wouldn’t, but some might.
Q: Is it true that he keeps you under house arrest, forcing you to paint recreations of Whistler’s grandmother with his ex-wife as a model?
TM: Those rumours are (largely) untrue. I could choose between Whistler’s Grandmother and Van Gogh’s ear. (furtively rubs ears) I would’ve had to be the model for that.
Q: How do you respond to statements to (now deceased) housemaid Schvetlana Meerlubna’s claims that you begged her to get you to a government safe house when she found you cowering in the 18th ballroom at his estate?
TM: That’s errant nonsense. I love that ballroom. I hang out there all the time.
Q: Wearing a caviar-stained jester’s outfit?
TM: Steppan likes to get involved in my installation pieces. That one involves him hurling beluga at me while I flaggelate myself with a badminton racket. (Swallows) It’s fun.
Q: About Steppan’s famous pack of dogs…
TM: (Starts to shiver uncontrollably) I don’t talk about the dobermans.
Q: Are you working on anything now?
TM: I’m working with Steppan on… (breaks down, weeps) listen, I just want to say that I take back everything I ever said about British politicians and capitalism. I was wrong, I see that now. If you could just tell the police…
Immediately two burly security guards rush in.
Guard 1: You upset Minion 502?
Guard 2: No more talky talky!
As they drag the recumbent Macaroni out, he looks back at me silently mouthing, ‘SAVE YOURSELF’…