NZ artist Billy Apple: one of the genuine greats

Artist Billy Apple, 'one of the genuine greats'

We lost one of the pioneers of pop and contemporary art yesterday, with the passing of Billy Apple 🍎🍏.

Billy Apple was born Barrie Bates in Auckland in 1935. After graduating from art school in the 1960s in London, he changed his name to Billy Apple. It was the first step to reinvent himself as a brand. He believed that art and life are intimately intertwined.

Apple moved to New York City shortly thereafter, where he worked with the likes of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. His art featured in famous galleries worldwide throughout his life. Back in New Zealand in the ‘90s, he continued the commercialization of his brand.

His transformation from artist to brand reached was complete when he registered his name as a trademark along with his apple logo in 2007.

He has passed from this life, but the boldness and simplicity of Billy Apple® lives on.

See some of his work here 👉🏼