Remembering Camille Billops, Legendary Artist and Longtime Duggal Client

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Remembering Camille Billops, Legendary Artist and Longtime Duggal Client

Duggal Visual Solutions lost a dear friend in Camille Billops, who died on June 1, 2019 at age 85.

Billops, described unanimously as a pioneering visual artist and filmmaker of our time, had been bringing her images to us for decades—even recently.

“I was working on a project with her, scanning and reprinting her archived images,” said Duggal’s JR Martin. “She had stories for days, and the photos to back them up. She was a fun person to be around.”

Billops began her career as a sculptor but became best-known for her storytelling with film. Her 1991 autobiographical film Finding Christa received the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the 1992 Sundance Film Festival.

“Part of Billops’s larger artistic project involved ensuring that the voices of black women were heard,” ARTnews wrote. “She began working as an artist during the 1960s…Mainstream galleries generally did not show black artists’ work, so [Billops and other black female artists] took it upon themselves to change.”

Billops was also an archivist, photographer, printmaker and all-around creator. She had a brilliant mind and a wonderful soul, both of which showed in her work. Martin and fellow Duggal associate, Anita Ollivierre, both recalled how Billops remained active and upbeat through her latter years.

“She was very inspirational,” Ollivierre said. “She would ride her bike to drop off film or pick up prints. She always had a smile on her face, always had a joke to crack, and she was a figure you couldn’t mistake. She had style.”

Billops, in fact, gave Ollivierre’s son his first job stuffing envelopes. She was a friend of our late founder, Baldev Duggal, as well.

Camille Billops will be deeply missed by the entire Duggal Visual Solutions family. We hope everyone will take a moment to learn more about her work, life and legacy in ARTnews.