Richard Billingham- Ray’s a Laugh


Ray’s a Laugh is a portrayal of the poverty and deprivation in which he grew up. 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.”

[Text from wikipedia]

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