Billy Apple (Barrie Bates) was born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1935. He left high school without a diploma and took a job as assistant to a paint manufacturer in 1951. Bates followed training to become an artist at Elam School of Fine Arts in the evening. Billy Apple is known for his Pop Art in the 60’s and was part of the Conceptual Art movement in the 70’s. Billy Apple was a pioneer in the use of neon in his work.