A gritty book reflecting the seamy underside of the pulse of southern gothic culture and lifestyle.
This coffee table book of images that are dear to me represents my 4th published book. I reflect the urban environment which I encounter on a daily basis. All images were shot on film, using a variety of Leica cameras. My cameras represent the best tools for my environment.
I live in Memphis, TN - a place which in many ways captures the imaginations of people all over the world. Our city has produced Elvis, Johnny Cash, FedEx, St. Jude's Children's Hospital, George Hamilton, Tav Falco, Alex Chilton, Bill Eggelston, Huger Foote, Stax Records, Sun Studios, rock and roll, the blues, and the best Bar-B-Que to be found anywhere. This book is gritty, dirty, and filled with soul - much as any other Memphis export.
I consider Blake, "My friend from Memphis". Our conversations, as well as his photographs, are about music, mostly the blues, and a life, that I consider southern. What is "southern" vision?? As a northerner, I find the light, and life, to be different below the Mason - Dixon. Listen to Blake talk about Beale Street or his hometown Memphis. Fashion? No. No nonsense. Just straight up like a good bourbon. Blake has a tenacity to keep going, to find that rare oddity and the more common features of his hometown and present them in a way that is fresh, real. No propaganda. Just take a look around and enjoy. Smell the barbeque. Listen. You're not in Kansas anymore.
Mr. Billings is a professional photographer with 34 years experience. He has been published in Mad Magazine, the Christian Science Monitor, the Dallas Sundowner, The Memphis Flyer, and several other prominent magazines around the world. His art has been shown in numerous galleries and is in several private collections. His photographs have also appeared in numerous books and cd's.