Richard Billingham is an English Photographer that is best known for his photobook ‘Rays A Laugh’ which documents his alcoholic father, and obese, heavily tattooed mother, Liz. Rays A Laugh is a portrayal of the poverty 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 rawness of the series. Ray, his father, and his mother Liz, appear at first glance as grotesque figures, with the alcoholic father drunk, and the mother, an obese chain smoker. The series Ray’s A Laugh (1996) depicts the almost-working class, the place between poverty and just making do with what you have. The self documentation evident in this body of work is one of the many factors that allow the audience to feel familiar with those of which Billingham lived in throughout the earlier years of his life
Richards work is unapologetic and I appreciate the rawness he has been able to convey through his image , which is something that I’d love to bring across in my own work. Richards work is a documentative project which centres around his parents. The unflattering use of flash reminds me of Martin Parrs work. However I feel use of flash adds to the particular aesthetic and adds a sense authenticity to the imagery.