Paintings by Charles Bronson, 61 — who is serving a life sentence for robbery and kidnap 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 moustachioed prisoner sunbathing on a beach, sold for £1,000 ($1,700, 1,250 euros), 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.
Ronnie Kray’s second wife 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 football team, had coated himself in butter to be more slippery before attacking the guards in anger because arch-north London rivals Arsenal had won the FA cup.
Several paintings by Ronnie Kray, infamous for running a London organised 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.