Exerpts from an Interview with Billy Childish

“I hate conceptual art,” he says. “Our contemporary culture is as facile as the Victoria chocolate box stuff, but not as talented. But people like things or are fans of things because they think it reflects their own intelligence. You’ll get someone who’ll argue with you that Damien Hirst is good because they can’t like something that isn’t. They can’t say ‘I like it and it’s a load of rubbish’ because apparently it is them. People don’t see themeshelves as people. They experience themselves through others.”

The question of what art it is “very, very simple,” he reckons. “Would the person do it if he wasn’t being paid? This would eradicate all of contemporary art!”

“Oh, I’m successful,” he says. And he is if success doing what you want in life and getting away with it. His philosophy seems to be this: “If people could get back in touch with making some mark with powered paint on paper, they’d be a lot happier not having to be building statues to themselves in the park all the time.”

–by Katy Guest, The Independent Magazine.

Childish-Made in Chatham-exhibition of paintings opens at The Aquarium, London.

I hadn’t heard of Billy Childish until Ali sent me this article. After finishing it, I wanted to go see his work. I was also interested in him because of his connection with Tracey Emin, another British contemporary artist. I’ve seen some of her artwork as well as read about her in newspapers. I agree with the points he’s made above. I think. But they also got me thinking. He does have the benefit of being happy to do what he likes as well as being famous for it. I suppose some would see that as benefit and others would not? But if you are an artist, even if you do it for the sake of yourself and not to get paid, isn’t there a side of you that wants to at least be reckognized for what you are? Whether you are paid or not? Hmmm.

I don’t know. I paint for a sense of peace. I paint when the words aren’t there to express what I am feeling. I also love colors and getting my hands full of them. I love exploring and trying new things. I paint for others, I create things to give away to people. Getting paid would be a bonus, but I don’t create the paintings to receive financial gain. But I can’t humble myself to the point that I wouldn’t enjoy my painting on exhibit. I had one of them published while in BKK and that was one of the most exciting things for me, mostly because I had never striven to become a painter, whereas I wanted to be a writer.

Oh, it goes in circles.

I’m going to take a bath now.