In the past, I have seen Richard Billingham’s work. Most noted, his brash photo series, turned book, on the life of his parents. Displaying the poverty stricken lifestyle of his alcoholic father and his obese mother. I came across the article “Ray’s A Laugh” while on American Suburb X today, and was compelled to mention it here. Follow this link, to see a short video piece by Billingham documenting his family much in keeping with his way of working in still images. The video is what really stood out to me as I revisited Billhingham’s work. It is sad without trying to be. He was simply recording the everyday, yet some how the decision to show the lives of these individuals at all, makes the photographs and now the footage so shocking.
*screen capture from Billingham’s short film “Fishtank”
“…Where can something so tragic be at once so aesthetically magnificent? Where can hopelessness, failure and darkness be propped up to enjoy so voraciously… only in art.” -Doug Rickard, ASX