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Cash Only 1/2 Price

ArtistBilly Apple
Production Date1984-1990
Mediumacrylic on canvas
Size2100 x 1551 mm
DepartmentNew Zealand Art
Subjectstext, signatures (names), advertisements
Accession DateApr 1991
Accession NoC1994/1/355
Credit LineChartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, 1991


Billy Apple operates at the intersection of art and commerce. Posing as a blatantly mercenary dealer in cultural capital, he exposes the art industry’s machinations. Cash Only 1/2 Price advertises its own bargain status. Originally shown at Webb’s auction house, the painting remained unsold and was later removed from its stretcher frame after it became damaged. Apple sold the work, now a ‘clearance item’, to the Chartwell Trust at half price. However, Apple’s hard-nosed monetarism is a ruse. His work’s value remains unknown – like any other artwork, it is dependent on mutual agreement.