George Killian’s Irish Red :: Collages by Al Billings

Al Billings

Washed up in Houston, 1981, trailing all my ghosts behind me, knocking out rock and roll tunes with a loud, angry band. The Reagan years, Houston flooded with money and cocaine, barbaric, horny, sleazy nights pissed away in cheap dives along the Strand in Galveston, mumbling drunk, a skinny blond with an overbite and an endless appetite for Quaaludes and anal sex.

Collages ripped and splashed into place, stinking drunk on George Killian’s Irish Red, astronauts and upside-down queers, shattered classical images forced together, improbable beauty drained away with the morning’s piss, everything meant to be classic rendered into swirling darkness, and the only relief in sight was the interior of the Rothko Chapel, where I took constant refuge. If I told the whole truth about those days, I’d have to jump out of a window.

These collages don’t seem to fit into art history. To this day I can’t locate their origins. Isn’t it better that way?

-Al Billings

March 20, 2011 3:51 pm

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