He has been described as “one of the most outstanding, and often misunderstood, figures on the British art scene”, while former Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion, once said: “He looks like he’s having more fun being a poet than I am.”
This new show from the iconic Billy Childish sees the launch of his latest collection of poetry, alongside a collection of some of his other works on paper. These include a limited edition artist’s book with an extract from his forthcoming novel ‘God Sends Nuts To People Without Teeth or The Stonesmason’, and a new series of charcoal and chalk drawings.
Inspirations this time: Robert Walser, Hans Fallada, and Spotted Elk (incorrectly named Big Foot), the subject of the infamous photograph taken after the massacre by American troops at Wounded Knee.
Billy Childish (born 1 December 1959 in Chatham, Kent, England) is an extraordinarily prolific artist, painter, author, poet, photographer, filmmaker, singer and guitarist. Childish left secondary education at 16 an undiagnosed dyslexic. Refused an interview at the local art school, he entered the Naval Dockyard at Chatham as an apprentice stonemason. During the following six months (his only prolonged period of employment), he produced some six hundred drawings in ‘the tea huts of hell.’ On the basis of this work he was accepted into St Martin’s School of Art to study painting where he refused to paint in the college, preferring to do so at home. He was thus expelled for this and other rebellious behaviour before completing the course, but since then, and despite years of resistance to and from orthodox bodies, he has created a huge and challenging body of work through his own highly personal art practice and philosophy of engagement with life. He is also co-founder of the ART HATE project. This non-organised, semi-fictional movement against art utilises the corruptive systems and devices of art and publishing to propound and debunk its own ideology thus creating a massive combustion of meaning (and some fantastic propaganda posters). Billy Childish has recently had exhibitions of his paintings in Berlin (Neugerriemschneider) London (ICA), New York (White Columns) and Basel (Art Basel) that received both critical and commercial success.