Melancholic vignettes of a self proclaimed outsider
Billy Childish (born Steven John Hamper, 1 December 1959 in Chatham, Kent) is an English painter, punk rock icon and poet. At 16 he left school to become a dockyard stonemason apprentice, was expelled from St. Martins School of art for outspoken political views and lived on the dole for 15 years. For 35 years he has been prolific in creating music, writing and visual art.
Swirling patterns and forms are effortlessly produced from thick and lavish paint on canvas. Childish's artwork is almost sculptural in its attempts to create form and substance. His obsession with colour stands in contrast to the melancholic and stoic subjects he paints. Drawing on influences from French and Dutch Impressionists and Expressionist painters like Van Gogh and Edvard Munch, his honest and unpretentious approach to beauty and story telling underlies all of his work.