Oct 27, 2011

TREND | Serial Killer Art

John Wayne Gacy, Hi Ho with Clown
Serial killers and the horrific stories that surround them have forever shocked, amazed, disgusted and intrigued many people that have found a twisted interest in them. What is the fascination with serial killers or sociopaths? Is it the idea that they are able to perform such an act that the average person is unable to fathom. Many killers are not monsters as they are portrayed in most movies and books, but are polite, charismatic men of the community.

John Wayne Gacy used to dress up as pogo the clown and work at fund-raising events, hospitals and kids birthdays. Ted Bundy would seduce women with his charisma and charm or Dennis Rader, also known as BTK, who was the president of the congregation council of his church and a cub scout leader. Many forms of art are inspired by the infamous serial killers of history, depicting an extreme way of life only understandable by the actual killers themselves. After exploring these sociopaths and trying to understand the way they think, makes the art they make themselves- art that comes from a mind of a certain thinking pattern, or a lack of emotion- much more intriguing and fascinating. Gacy after being arrested and charged with 33 murders and was sentenced to death. While he was in prison he started painting as a hobby and later for a way of income. Many people bought the paintings who are interested in his life or horrified by what he had done, also many people bought the paintings only to destroy them.
John Wayne Gacy, Sex Skull
Charles Manson is another serial killer who sells his art for profit, art that takes more of a disturbing demeanor. Many other killers make art while in jail like Herbert Mullen, who paints ladscapes, killed 13 people in California in the early 1970s and Richard Ramirez, also known as the “Night Stalker” who was found guilty of 13 counts of murder and 5 countes of attempted murder. Ramirez makes no profit from his artwork and actually donates 5% of the profit of the money made from the art to the American Cancer Society. Though many people have tried to stop criminals from selling their art for their own profit. The Son of Sam law, named after the New York serial killer David Berkowitz, is designed to keep criminals from selling their stories for books, movies, television or selling anything from them including art. Although some states do not have this law active.
Herbert Mullen

I cant dislike you, but I will say this to you: you haven't got long before you are all going to kill yourselves, because you are all crazy. And you can project it back at me, but I am only what lives inside each and every one of you. - Charles Manson
Charles Manson, Arachnids

  - Matthew Jones


  1. I really like the concept of this review. I really had no idea these killers made art. Knowing the background of this, looking at their work definitely gives it an eerie vibe. Knowing that it came from the mind of a psychopath is definitely creepy.

    However, I think that you could have maybe talked less about the statistics of their history, such as how many people they have killed, and focused more on possibly their process of the art. You could have also maybe went into more detail of the people destroying their art, or more information about the states who have banned the selling of these. I also did notice some spelling and grammar errors.

    I looked into this some because it caught my interest, and I came across a tv episode about serial killer art, which you could have maybe included. In my opinion, the more interactive links and videos that are included, the more interesting and engaging an entry can be.

    Here is the link to that video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z6IS6qmFkc

    -Ashley Green

  2. I find it ironic that I stumbled across this when I was watching American Psycho. This was really interesting and Im glad you did it. It's so interesting how the art of a serial killer can reflect on the way they killed people and what their personalities have morphed into. Since art is considered an extension of the subconscious and therefore more of our desires rather than what we act out for the world to see.

    The art itself is all grotesque, even the calmer of the images. The serene blue mountain painting by Mullen is grotesque because it's so dark and serene. Yet the man who painted it is a notorious killer and anything but calm. The dichotomy between the two is the man and his painting is phenomenal. Even in a painting like Muller's it still says great things about the killer, even more so I think than Pogo's painting in its own way.

    - Erin Davis