As I opened my copy of the recent Raw Vision magazine (no. 84), I was struck by the little advert featuring the face of Charles Bronson staring back at me! Not only had I read a lot about this man in the press, I was now witnessing that he was exhibiting some art work in London, so I had to get along to see what it was all about.
Only managing to arrive on the day it finished, I wished I had seen it earlier to tell others to go. The venue itself was quite bizarre, and after standing outside for a while thinking it was closed, I realised there was a buzzer, where after pressing, I got let in straight away. A short walk around a series of corridors later, I was in a small room with rather dirty walls, a bizarre soundtrack playing and some art work hung a little too high. The strip lighting also made viewing some of the work a little difficult. But with all that said, the art work itself made up for this.
With most from a private collection and a few pieces for sale (with a few with sold stickers might I add) this exhibition really let you delve in to the mind of Charles Bronson … and what a bizarre mind he must have! Surveillance cameras featured very heavily in all of his works, as did himself in one form or another. Lots of winged creatures also featured as well as machines with heads and legs sticking out of them. One piece that sticks out in my mind had a syringe with legs leaning over the body of a man!
With prices ranging from £100 – £1000, it shows that people were interested in buying his work. His older works seemed to be a lot simpler in composition in comparison to his newer works, where he is covering the entire page with drawings, doodles and coloured pencil crayon. Lots more machinery and morphed figures feature now, as well as the names and supposed memoir books of other famous prisoners from Broadmoor. Another image in the top left of a drawing also stays with me … a cross like a graveyard stone, but with the words ‘free at last’ written by it. The word ‘arse wash’ on the machinery featured many times over too. Have a look at my images to see more, however please remember that the lighting made it difficult to take good pictures!
To coincide with the exhibition, was the launch of his biography ‘Broadmoor: My Journey into Hell’ which you can now pick up for £18 a copy.
You can read more about the exhibition here, but as mentioned it has now finished.