A criminal known as one of Britain’s most violent prisoners has raised thousands of pounds to send his mother on vacation by selling some of his artwork.
Paintings by Charles Bronson, 61 — who is serving a life sentence for robbery and kidnapping and has earned public notoriety for a series of attacks and rooftop protests in jail — were sold as part of an auction of the possessions of London gangster Ronnie Kray, who died in 1995.
Bronson’s Fantasy Impression, showing the mustached prisoner sunbathing on a beach, sold for ￡1,000 (US$1,700), while his Broadmoor Lunatic Asylum and a self-portrait each sold for ￡950.
Impression of Bedlam, a cartoon about the former psychiatric hospital reading “Born insane” and “Sick bastards are only human,” sold for ￡680.
Auctioneer Jonathan Humbert did not reveal who bought the works, but said Bronson had asked Kray’s second wife, Kate, to include his paintings in the sale because he had upset his mother and wanted to make it up to her.
“Charles Bronson recently had a rumble with 12 prison guards. In a letter to Kate Kray, he states remorse at upsetting his mother and, accordingly, asked if some of his artwork could be included in the sale so as to generate funds to send his mother on holiday,” Humbert said.
Kate Kray agreed agreed that some of the proceeds from Bronson’s artwork go to his mother.
Press reports of the May incident said that Bronson, a fan of the Tottenham Hotspur soccer team, had coated himself in butter to be more slippery before attacking the guards in anger because north London archrivals Arsenal had won the Football Association Challenge Cup.
Several paintings by Ronnie Kray, infamous for running a London organized crime gang with his twin brother, Reggie, in the 1950s and 1960s, were also auctioned, along with dozens of personal items including his eyeglasses and death certificate.