Last Updated July 13, 2018

Richard Billingham

British (Born 1970 ) FREE LISTING Hot
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Influence: Contemporary influential

Richard Billingham is an English artist, film maker, photographer and teacher.
Billingham was born in Birmingham and studied as a painter at Bournville College of Art and the University of Sunderland.

He is best known for his candid photography of his working class family and upbringing which culminated in the series 'Ray’s a Laugh'. A monograph of the same name was released in 1996. The photographs, which were taken on the cheapest film he could find, provide brash colours and bad focus which adds to the authenticity and frankness of the series. Ray, his father, and his mother Liz, appear at first glance as grotesque figures, with the alcoholic father drunk on his home brew, and the mother, an obese chain smoker with an apparent fascination for nicknacks and jigsaw puzzles. However, there is such integrity in this work that Ray and Liz ultimately shine through as troubled yet deeply human and touching personalities. The critic Julian Stallabras describes Ray and Liz as embodiments of "what is in legend a particularly British stoicism and resilience, in the face of the tempest of modernity."

In 1997 Billingham was included in the exhibition 'Sensation' at the Royal Academy of Art which showcased the art collection of Charles Saatchi and included many of the Young British Artists of the time. Also in 1997, Billingham won the Citigroup Photography Prize. He was shortlisted for the 2001 Turner Prize, for his solo show at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham.

Recent exhibitions include ‘Panorama’ (Annely Juda Fine Art, 2015), ‘Ray’ (Glynn Vivian, 2015) and ‘The Nineties’ (Frieze, 2016).

In addition to Ray's a Laugh he has published three further monographs; Black Country (2003), Zoo (2007) and Landscapes, 2001-2003 (2008).

He has produced several short films and documentaries and has recently written and directed his frost feature length film 'Ray & Liz', due to be released in 2018.

His work is held in the permanent collections of Tate, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and Government Art Collection in London.

He is a Professor of Fine Art at the University of Gloucestershire.


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