What X Did for Me

The idea of these films is to tell the life stories and evaluate the importance of the work of some of the biggest artists, writers and musicians through the opinions of some of the most acclaimed contemporary artists . So for the viewers it’s a real treat – several great artists talking about their hero.

This approach offers a completely original approach to biography whilst also offering a unique insight into the thinking of the next generation of painters and writers. What Joseph Beuys did for me The German artist Joseph Beuys was one of the most important and charismatic artists active during the late twentieth century. Like his friend and contemporary, Andy Warhol, he was hugely influential both during his life and after his death, and helped shape and develop artistic thinking in the post World War II period. Little of Beuy’s work fits into conventional categories, but he was a sculptor, draughtsman, performance artist, teacher, commentator, active in environmental politics and by the end of his life an international celebrity and living icon, often taking on the role of artistic shaman and restorer of wisdom to world affairs.

Beuys passionately believed that society itself should be transformed into a total work of art, and that art-making was an intrinsically revolutionary activity in which everyone could participate. He often worked with found objects and most famously with blocks of fat, lard and wax. The Godfather of anti-art Beuys influence has been seminal. The idea of this film, to coincide with Tate Modern’s major retrospective next February, is to tell the Beuy’s story through the words of some of the world’s most acclaimed artists whilst analysing and explaining how an understanding of his work changed theirs. They will also tell Beuys life story. We feel that this combination of personal revelation, analysis and anecdote will make a highly original and entertaining film/series. So far the following artists have agreed to take part: The Chapman Brothers, Jeff Koons, Keith Tyson, Patrick Caulfield, Michael Craig-Martin and Martin Creed. What Leonard Cohen Did for Me Poet, singer, songwriter, lover of women, budhist monk, at the age of 70, Leonard Cohen continues to fascinate his fans both old and new. Since his mid-50s his reputation has risen steadily, and he continues to give pleasure to the million or so people who buy his records.

As well as being a poet of iconic status, the “godfather of gloom” is a musician’s musician, a primary influence on generations of new artists. It’s Cohen’s songwriting say his most passionate fans that sets him above his contemporaries. And over the years there have been several tribute albums and covers by artists as diverse as Bono, Nina Simone, and REM. With the release of his new album “Dear Heather” this autumn, “What Leonard Cohen Did for Me” will celebrate the singer-songwriter’s original career – from promising young poet and novelist in Canada, to international pop sensation. Musicians, writers and performers including Nick Cave, Jarvis Cocker, Ian McCulloch, Arthur Smith, Kathryn Williams, Paul Morley, pay tribute to his work.

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