Billy Apple®

Signature Piece (AKA Passport)

Signature Piece (AKA Passport) by Billy Apple®

Artwork Detail

Made in England at the height of British Pop, this important early photolithograph on canvas was included in Billy Apple’s first solo exhibition in 1963 at Gallery One in London. It was just one year after the New Zealander Barrie Bates had finished his studies in design at the Royal Academy and had announced a name change and new identity, becoming Billy Apple. Enlarging and replicating a passport page, 'Signature Piece (AKA Passport)', 1962–63 declares the artist’s new identity, presenting ‘Billy Apple’ with the freshly dyed blonde hair reconfigured for his new persona as he signs his name for the first time. The work exemplifies the official beginnings of the Apple brand, identity and a lifetime’s activity, making it a highly meaningful acquisition to the Gallery’s collection in the year after his death.'Signature Piece (AKA Passport)' was used as the exhibition poster and catalogue cover for his 1974 retrospective at the Serpentine Gallery, London, which, after a decade of art making as Billy Apple, focused on the radical act of his name change.

– Natasha Conland, Senior Curator, Global Contemporary Art, 2023

Signature Piece (AKA Passport)
Billy Apple®
Production date
offset lithograph on canvas
730 x 508 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased with the assistance of the Patrons of the Auckland Art Gallery, 2022
Accession no
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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