Billy Apple was born Barrie Bates in Auckland in 1935. He left New Zealand in 1959 on a National Art scholarship and studied at the Royal College of Art, London until 1962. In this year he changed his name to Billy Apple and declared himself an art object. During this time he exhibited alongside other pop artists such as Warhol and Lichenstein.
He moved to New York in 1964 and established Apple in 1969, one of New York's first alternative art spaces.
He returned to New Zealand twice in the 1970's supported by the Queen Elizabeth 11 Arts Council and exhibited throughout New Zealand. He returned permanently to New Zealand in 1990 and now resides in Auckland.
His work is called conceptual, where its concept should be viewed as the all-important thing.
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