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From the Matuku Trust Collection - Works by Billy Apple

MEDIA RELEASE 17 February 2015

For immediate release

From the Matuku Trust Collection

Works by Billy Apple®

2 March – 26 June | 2015

The Whangarei Art Museum presents an exhibition of privately owned works from the Matuku Trust collection by Billy Apple.

The collection largely focuses on two strands in Billy Apple’s art practice—works from his Art Transaction series and his Fundraising series

Also included are two early pop art multiples produced after the artist graduated from the Royal College of Art, London in 1962 and changed his name to Billy Apple. This was a self-branding exercise where he took on a new persona as an art object, developed a corporate identity using apples and picked red and green as his brand colours. Exhibited are works marking 35, 40, 45 & 50 years of the brand, which is now a registered trademark.

By becoming the art object, Apple had, significantly, removed the arbitrary division between art and life. He had solved the problem about where does life stop and art start. He could now use the activities of every-day living as content for his art. These ideas presaged conceptual art and when he moved to New York in 1964, he established APPLE, the second of the seven alternative spaces that became the foundation for New York’s conceptual art scene.

In the 1980s, Apple began his Art Transaction series, which revealed the web of relationships that exist between artists, dealers and collectors. Featured are works from the series, Paid: The Artist Has To Live Like Everybody Else.

Billy Apple returned to live in Auckland in 1990 and began a series of art projects to raise funds for community organisations. Exhibited here are works from the Art for Aids, Women’s Refuge, Turn Your Life Around and Youthline art projects. For this exhibition, Te Puna O Te Aroha Women’s Refuge Inc., Whangarei, 1999, will be reproduced as a postcard available for purchase. All proceeds go to the Te Puna Women’s Refuge safe-house.

The From The Matuku Trust Collection gives an insight into Billy Apple’s distinctive art practice. By examining and breaking down the processes of the art world along with the activities of his every-day life, Billy Apple challenges established ideas and in the process changes the way art is made and experienced.

The documentary, Being Billy Apple, 2007 directed and produced by Spacific Films’ Leanne Pooley will be available to view and purchase from the gallery.

© Scoop Media

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