Van Gogh, Munch, Caravaggio. Mad as bag ladies at Hogmanay, but artistic geniuses to a man. I was excited, then, when I heard that another mad artist’s work was coming up for auction in Lincoln on July 2. If madness is the food of art then Ronnie Kray, one half of the murderous East End twins and occasional avant-garde decorator of Whitechapel pubs, has excess of it.
Painted during Ronnie’s “Broadmoor Period”, Untitled Landscape with Cottage and Tree is one of a number of similar works depicting in bold colours a rough hewn landscape touched by a distant vision of civilisation.
Note especially the angle of the tree, the gentle disregard for perspective in the cottage and the shy, almost anonymous signature.
As bad art created by celebrities goes, it is right up there with D. H Lawrence’s A Holy Family.