Nau mai, haere mai, welcome to eyeCONTACT, a forum built to encourage art reviews and critical discussion about the visual culture of Aotearoa New Zealand. I'm John Hurrell its editor, a New Zealand writer, artist and curator. While Creative New Zealand and other supporters are generously paying me and other contributors to review exhibitions over the following year, all expressed opinions are entirely our own.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Registering Billy

Billy Apple
Sue Crockford
19 August - 13 September 2008

The Artist is now officially a brand, with a little circle enclosing a wee ‘R’ alongside his name. What that means legally I’m not sure, but the polyester cast fruit here on display in a solitary vitrine certainly looks tasty.

It’s a bluish ‘candy’ red, like a toffee apple but not so brown. The word ‘Billy’ is negatively embossed into its surface, which looks like a reddish varnish – thick and translucent with a silver undercoat shining though. Gorgeous! Asymmetrical, it is curvaceous too. A unique form peculiar to the special edible variety Apple intends to market.

The funny part is the precision of the price and the way it is displayed. On the handout it is $71,518.50 with the cents put in a font point that is half the height of the rest. It is as if the .50 is an embarrassment, which of course, it is. It looks ridiculous. There should be a whole row of zeros after the seventy-one. The artist should have (ahem) registered that it would look so ugly. He should have allowed for GST and lessened his own cut when he calculated the price.

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