Billy Apple
Billy Apple Bleaching with Lady Clairol Instant Crème Whip, November 1962
Gelatin silver print with silk-screened text
69 x 80 x 4 cm

Photograph by Richard Smith

With its silk-screened text, this framed photograph is a key work in Billy Apple’s oeuvre. It records the actual moment of his self-creation, when he marked his name change by bleaching his hair in Richard Smith’s studio in London on 22 November 1962. Transferred to a black-and-white negative from Smith’s original 35-mm colour slide, it first appeared as an illustration in From Barrie Bates to Billy Apple, the catalogue to the artist’s solo exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery, London, in 1974. This image was printed in 1997 in Auckland, New Zealand, from the 1974 negative by Studio La Gonda (Mark Adams and Haru Sameshima) on vintage fibre-based paper.