Billy Apple® is a trademarked art brand. He is an artist who has both pioneered the concept of alternate economies in art and critiqued the notion of arts’ value exemplified by his production of dematerialized idea-driven works that circumvent the market place; formulating a means to live using his Art Transactions as a form of aesthetic currency; and the evolution of his art brand beginning in 1962 with his self-branding name change in recognition of art’s commodity status. Apple also became an agent for the use-value of art by generating a series of fundraising projects where charities become subject and object of his works which are sold in order to raise money for them.
In Billy Apple®: The Artist Has to Live like Everybody Else 1961 – 2018 his practice moves forward to focus on Art Transactions, a new series begun in the early 1980s that reveals Apple’s art-life tactics for everyday living and more broadly examines the means by which art circulates and the network of relationships between collector, dealer and artist. This series has its roots in the small canvas For Sale, 1961 now in the National Galleries of Scotland collection – the signifier which signals Apple’s nascent interest in the implications of brand identity and the commodification of art.