By Leon Billerbeck
Instagram : @leon_billerbeck
Leon Billerbeck - Youngsters
By Jake Vinson (ZERO-SAVAGE Online Writer)
Leon Billerbeck’s intimate series explores the conflict of being physically aged but meantally young by capturing, in perfect honesty, the raw emotions of his grandparents at their golden wedding anniversary. Sweat-soaked shirts and eyes alight with excitement; fingers up to the sky; mouth open, caught in mid-verse; dancing the night away; two people sharing a momentof appreciation and affection to each other.
They could pass as a young couple, getting blitzed at Brixton O2, not as people with grandkids, let alone kids. Just like his nan and grandad laying up poolside, looking like retired rockstars’. Billerbeck’s images are calm but vibrant: the subtle content matter lures us into the picture and soon we find ourselves faced with the poignancy of two people whose love has spanned decades, living out the rest of their days like they’re eighteen and there is nothing wrong with that. Billerbeck’s message of mentally defying the biological age is encapsulated in the picture of his grandparents standing together. Not in embrace, they stand apart but together. His hands in pocket, hers’, covering her face, as-if she’s a starlet hiding from the paparazzi. His shirt is messy and creased, cuffs up-turned, a devious grin on his face, almost as-if he has a mischievous ploy that she wants no part of because he has had the same idea before and it did not end well. They don’t look like they have spent fifty years together, they look like they’re just getting started.
The body ages: joints ache, eyesight blur, hearing becomes harder, Skin stretches and wrinkles, hair turns snow-white. The body ages, that is true. But, as Billerbeck's work shows, how old you are in the mind, is your choice.