"Richard Billingham's Ray's a Laugh, published in 2000 by Scalo, is a bone jarring chronicle of the parts of life that shouldn't... the life that tried, but wouldn't, and dreams that simply couldn't." - Doug Rickard, American Suburb X
Born in Birmingham, Billingham initially studied as a painter at Bournville College of Art and the University of Sunderland. In 1997, Billingham was included in the exhibition Sensation at the Royal Academy of Art which showcased the art collection of Charles Saatchi and included many of the Young British Artists.
Also in 1997, Billingham won the Citigroup Photography Prize (now known as the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize). He was shortlisted for the 2001 Turner Prize, for his solo show at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham.