Do you like it? Your friend Ronnie


Ronnie Kray was the ‘friend of a friend’ of one of the Idiosynchronists. He was born and bred in the back streets of London. Along with his twin brother Reggie he rose to fame in the 50’s and 60s by means of murder, extortion and blackmail. In spite of this the Krays became the darlings of society and consorted with the rich and famous. Many were proud to have the Kray twin's picture (taken by David Bailey) on their mantelpiece. Ronnie was a paranoid schizophrenic who ended his days in Broadmoor. It seems that it was there that he finally found his true vocation and became a painter. He has been described as “a terrifyingly violent man who used his years of incarceration to explore the other side of his character, through books, writing, art and a deal of spiritual self examination.” One of his admirers was the painter Francis Bacon (with whom he had had a brief affair whilst on the run in Tunis) and Bacon had one of Ronnie’s works hanging in his studio at the time of his death. His paintings often featured a distant cottage by a river. On bad days, he would alter it by including a black sun.

The art critic Marcus Reichert has said of his work: "It is a little known fact that Ronnie Kray painted at least one masterpiece."

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