Billy Connolly is a celebrated Scottish comedian, musician, presenter and actor. The recently-knighted artist began his professional fine art career in 2012.
History and Background
In the 1960s, Billy worked as a welder in the Glasgow shipyards before giving it up to pursue a career as a folk singer in the Humblebums.
In the early 1970s, he made the transition from a folk-singer with a comedic persona to a full-fledged comedian. He also appeared in high profile films, including Indecent Proposal (1993) and Mrs. Brown (1997), for which he was nominated for a BAFTA. He has also acted in The Last Samurai (2003) and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004).
In 2012, Billy's artistic expression took a new path, in the form of fine art.
Ideas and Inspirations
Billy’s process is similar to that of the surrealist automatism movement, whereby the artist allows the hand to move randomly across the paper or canvas without an intent to create anything specifically.
His art can also be likened to that of the cave paintings that originated in Aurignacian culture, possessing a charming simplicity yet an extraordinary self-awareness and humanity. His characters are faceless and anonymous, seemingly devoid of emotion and expression. Despite this, the emotional connection with their audience is undeniable.
There is nothing contrived or intended about this work; it is creativity in its purest form. Each drawing takes its own path and comes to life as the viewer creates their own unique narrative.