I always question how their deceptively simple portraits capture such heaviness, depth and complexity. Billy und Hells are two photographers I’ve been watching for years. I repeatedly go back to their works, hungry to enter their world of in-betweens.
I’ve read that the pair accidentally came across a technique that now dominates their work; by simply forgetting to take a black and white negative out of the process. This technique is known as Lithprint.
Eventually, they combined a colour picture with a black and white slide from it’s negative to create something quite remarkable. Their works collect portraits of archetypal characters (cowboys, nurses, sailors, mothers, etc.) in a collection of reduced colours.
There’s no doubt that their aesthetic and subject matter creates an underlying sense of mystery. It’s challenging to place the works within a time as there is a blurring of the past and present, even reality and fantasy. Their photographs make us feel nostalgic for things we can’t place.