Bum 11

About Charlie Billingham

A graduate of the Royal Academy Schools in London, British painter Charlie Billingham draws inspiration from Regency-era illustrations, recreating their satirical, often politicized content into bright works on canvas that serve as a what he calls “a symbol of a certain type of taste.” A rainbow of powdered wigs, plumed bonnets, sagging britches, and full-figured bottoms dance across his paintings; the repetition of these motifs places them in a detached historical context, so that they become merely decoration, like an attractive wallpaper. Billingham also experiments with sculptural works, painting antique screens and furniture and installing multi-media exhibitions that include these pieces alongside oil paintings. More recently, he has employed the help of a hydraulic pressing company to flatten out saxophones, which he then coats freely in thick layers of paint, channeling the spirit of improvisational jazz.

British, b. 1984, London, United Kingdom