10 February 2023 07:34, UTC
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Charles Salvador ‘Bronson,’ who was first imprisoned in 1974 for armed robbery and has since become known as the UK’s “most violent” prisoner, is launching an NFT collection that features his artwork.
Bronson, who now calls him Charles Salvator, has not left jail since 1974 due to repeated offenses against both staff and fellow inmates.
The collection includes 1,500 previously unseen pieces from Charles’ 47 years spent in prison and solitary confinement, alongside 8,500 3D pieces inspired by poetry, personal interviews, and writings, the project’s website says.
Certain rare NFT holders are being promised a meet and greet with the founders and an AMA with the artist, in addition to various other physical items, according to the project’s utility page. According to the project’s website, 25% of proceeds from the NFT sale will also go towards a foundation supporting art-making programs for at-risk youth.
The physical exhibition at Henarch Galleries will only be accessible to those who hold an NFT, as per the project’s site. It opens on Feb. 26.
London-based curator Oliver Hammond told Sky News that he hopes the exhibition will boost Bronson’s bid for parole. “If we can show that Charlie wants to get out of prison to work on his art, I think there is definitely a good chance that he gets out on parole.”
Prices for Bronson’s works on paper range from £700-£30,000, per Sky News. As for the NFTs, the collection is being promoted on Twitter with a release date of Feb. 12, prices are still to be determined.
It’s also not the first time a sitting prisoner has released an NFT collection in a bid to draw attention to their plight. In Dec. 2021, an NFT auction of drawings made by Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht, who is currently serving multiple life sentences for his role in establishing the darkweb marketplace, raised over $6 million dollars to support families with incarcerated children.
According to retired Metropolitan police detective Peter Kirkham, who pursued Bronson during his time on the force, he worries that Bronson’s art is ultimately fuelling a narrative that glorifies his criminal past.
“It’s not right,” Kirkham said. “It’s wrong because people should not be able to gain profit from their crimes.”