Charlie Billingham


oil on canvas
39 x 31 inches

The exaggerated, bulging figures that populate Charlie Billingham’s paintings originate from political cartoons from the Georgian and Regency Era. Growing up, Billingham was fascinated with a series of George Cruikshank prints his parents owned, and began incorporating the imagery into his work while attending the Royal Academy in London. Billingham removes the cartoons from their historical context, and crops or reconfigures the characters to highlight the absurdity and social undercurrents of the original scene. Nits focuses on a female character, half-seen, with two male figures standing over her — the man in the powdered wig staring down at her as he passes by. Billingham accentuates the decorative quality of the satirical imagery in his installations, where the works are exhibited on custom wallpapers or with hinged components. He has exhibited extensively throughout Europe and the UK.