After leaving secondary school at age 16, Billy Childish worked at the Naval Dockyard in Chatham as an apprentice stonemason. Initially denied an interview to the local art school, he produced hundreds of drawings that gained him entry to St. Martin's School of Art. Childish's defiance to authority led to his eventual expulsion from art school in 1981. He then embarked on an artistic, odyssey exploring a broad range of worldly themes including war, history, social protest, as well his own experiences of alcoholism, and the sexual abuse he suffered as a child.Read More
Over the last 35 years, Childish has gained a cult status worldwide. In addition to writing and publishing over 40 volumes of confessional poetry and 5 novels, Childish has recorded over 100 LPs, and painted many hundreds of paintings. He has had solo and group exhibitions internationally with recent solo exhibitions in New York, London, and Berlin. In 2000, Childish was included in British Art Show 5, which toured throughout four cities – Edinburgh, Southampton, Cardiff, and Birmingham – and featured artists Tracey Emin, Liam Gillick, and David Hockney, among others. In 2010, Childish was the subject of major concurrent retrospectives at the ICA in London and White Columns in New York, curated by Matthew Higgs and Richard Birkett. The artist lives and works in Kent, in the south of the United Kingdom.