Starkwhite is pleased to present Billy Apple®: A History of the Brand to 8 December 2011.
The artworks in this exhibition record the artist's transformation from an individual artist into a brand. This process culminated in 2007 when Apple became a registered trademark, formalising his status as an art brand. Since then he has produced a series of works using his logo and the commodity class categories for which he holds trade mark registration: Class 16, Printed Matter, Class 25 Clothing, Class 31, Fresh Fruit, Apple and Class 44, Orchard Services. He continues to develop projects that also address this, for example working with apple growers over the production and branding of a new apple cultivar and a collaborative art/science project, The Immortalisation of Billy Apple®, in which somatic cells from his blood have been virally transformed to create a cell line (Billy Apple® cells) that will live outside the body for use in studies like cancer research.
Based in Auckland, New Zealand, since the 1990s, Apple exhibits regularly in dealer, public and artist-run galleries, and his works have been included in major international and national touring exhibitions. These include: Toi Toi Toi: Three Generations of New Zealand Artists (Kassel & Auckland, 1999); Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin (New York, 1999); Kronos + Kairos: Über die Zeit in der Zeitgenössischen Kunst, (Kassel, 1999); Shopping: A Century of Art and Consumer Culture (Frankfurt & Liverpool, 2002-3); American Supermarket (Pittsburgh, 2002); Art of the '60s from Tate Britain (Auckland 2006); Remix (Virginia, 2011) and the upcoming Gold (Vienna, 2012). In 2009, a second major survey exhibition of Apple's work was staged in two parts at Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam (Billy Apple®: A History of the Brand and Revealed/Concealed). In New Zealand aspects of his career have been reevaluated in exhibitions such as Billy Apple: New York 1969-1973 (Wellington 2009).
Press release courtesy Starkwhite.