Billy Apple: con man, revolutionary pop artist, or enigma? Or all three? Being Billy Apple looks at one of New Zealand's most controversial contemporary artists: a man who legally changed his name, and turned himself into a brand. Director Leanne Pooley (The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls) follows Apple's life, and looks at his role in the global development of conceptual art. This opening excerpt from the 70-minute documentary explodes with the energy of the 1960s art scene from which Apple emerged — before showing Apple debating with Pooley over whether his face should even be seen on-screen.
As I say, I don't do works that are candy for the eye. My work is about the mind — It always has been. When we first started in 1960 it wasn't called conceptual art because it wasn't around, but I use the word 'ideas' constantly. My work's about ideas.– Billy Apple, in an interview on website Studio International, 17 October 2018