Colored pencil on card
8 x 12
Available through online gallery:
A rare opportunity to own an original piece of visionary outsider art by Charles Bronson, the most notorious prisoner in the UK.
Bronson has spent time in the psych ward of every British prison. He remains incarcerated.
Our drawings came directly from Bronson himself in the mid-2000s when we created and opened The Bedlam Bar in Hampstead Village, north London.
Drawings by Bronson are never displayed in art galleries; they only very occasionally come up for auction.
How old is Charles Bronson, what is the prisoner's real name, why has he been in prison so long and will he be released?
From Surreal Bounce (Earthshine Editions, 2009):
The Bedlam Bar finally opens, featuring a four-sided-wall-plus-ceiling mural with full moon, swirling night sky and glowing stars overhead (homage to Van Gogh's Starry Night).
A surreal Bosch-like ice age on the left depicts freezing cold water and a snake, symbolizing the treatment of mental patients (especially in Germany), when patients were lowered slowly into snake pits or hosed with ice cold water. Why such barbaric treatment? It was believed such "therapy" would shock melancholy catatonics to their senses.
Nearby is an icon of St. Dymphna, patron saint of lunatics, for whom a candle always burns.
Walt Freeman, the lobotomist, is commemorated within another mural, his famed golden ice pick in hand.
Around a banquette hangs artwork by Charles Bronson, declared criminally insane in 1978 and considered Britain's most dangerous prisoner; electrifying art reflecting his unique reality.