Photographer and painter Richard Billingham (born 1970) grew up in a cramped, high-rise tenement apartment with his mother and father in Birmingham, England. His father, Ray, was an unemployed, chronic alcoholic, often sleeping the whole day through, while Liz, Billingham’s overweight and heavily tattooed mother, filled her home with porcelain dolls and jigsaw puzzles, housing ten cats and three dogs. These are Billingham’s subjects. In stark comparison to conventional family photos around the dinner table or in front of the Christmas tree, Billingham’s images are raw, intimate and often uncomfortably humorous. First published in 2000, Ray’s a Laugh is now considered one of the most important British photo books of the recent past. This publication reproduces this renowned book spread by spread, including a contemporary essay by Charlotte Cotton.
The Errata Editions' Books on Books series brings rare and out-of-print photography books back to life—page-for-page—in an accessible, affordable format. "Richard Billingham's close and startling portrayal of his father Ray, and mother Liz and his younger brother Jason was published in 1996 and has become a symbol of just how vital photography's narration of true experience can be," writes essayist Charlotte Cotton. A compelling a portrait of the family of an unemployed, chronic alcoholic, this book speaks volumes.
Hardcover, 7" x 9.5", 112 pages
Published by Errata Editions, 2014
Copy for sale has been used as display in the ICP Store. Content remains in good condition.