This photo was taken by Richard Billingham; all of his pictures are of his parents and brother in their home in the West Midlands and were originally intended as source material for his paintings. My first impression of the piece is that it’s extremely strange but could portray how much of a crazy house these people live in. The cat looks as if he is levitating rather than jumping as his legs are straight. The man underneath looks very surprised and as if he is being pushed out the way.

In the foreground the cat is the main focal point, as the only white part of a darkened image it is made more obvious. The man is in the middle ground where the image contains come depth of field, his fingers are out of focus but he gradually gets more in focus the further back the image goes. The background contains lots of distractions but adds to the mad and crazy effect.

The image doesn’t have fantastic focus but I think it is the style Billingham wanted; all of his images have this old fashioned effect. There are no influential lines displaying depth or width, only lines on the wallpaper which may create height but do not make a significant difference to the image. The rule of thirds may have been used as if the lines were there, there would be something in each section with the main focal point in the middle.

I think the photographer wanted us to see a type of life style, the cat may cause mayhem in the house and he has captured it in his image. The image has lots of distractions caused by the mess and clutter in the room, I think the photographer may want to show the type of life style that the family has, they don’t seem to care about what’s going on in their home but the man is sitting on a camping chair wearing smart clothes. The family may want to have a good image outside of the home but do not care about giving their home to have a good image.

As the image is so strange at  first I thought the image may have been created using a programme like Photoshop and putting the picture of the man and the cat together but after looking at it and the rest of Bellingham’s collection none of his images are edited like that. I have also realised that the image shows more than a crazy cat, it shows a lifestyle and how people choose to live. The image has inspired me to create my own piece in the same style, displaying a life style with a unique focal point.


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    May 2013