History has shown that some of the world’s greatest artists were crazy… and some of the world’s craziest people have fancied themselves artists. From serial killers John Wayne Gacy and Richard Ramirez, to the world’s most famous mass murderer, Adolf Hitler, many high-profile criminals continued to terrorize the public, long after being locked away or even after their deaths, by flooding the market with really bad art.
Gacy is probably one of the most famous, with his original pieces sometimes fetching thousands of dollars. Like most criminal artists, Gacy didn’t begin painting until he was sent to prison, probably because he had “other hobbies” when he was on the outside.
While criminal art has historically thrived in a niche market, a new wave of criminal artists may blow that market wide open, thanks to Jodi Arias and the Internet’s biggest junk sale portal, eBay.
For those of you who have been living under a rock, the trial of 32-year-old Jodi Arias is being dubbed the biggest since the Casey Anthony trial.
In July 2008, Arias’s boyfriend, 30-year-old Travis Alexander, was found in his Mesa, Arizona apartment with his throat slashed, 27 stab wounds, and a gunshot wound to the head. Arias has admitted to murdering Alexander, but claims that it was in self-defense after he attacked her for dropping his camera. Initially, Arias denied any involvement, but changed her story when her hair and fingerprints were found at the crime scene.
Investigators also found the camera in question, with naughty sexual photos of the couple, taken just hours before Alexander’s death. In addition to being a self-proclaimed aspiring artist and photographer, Arias can now add “aspiring porn star” to the list.
While we won’t be seeing any nude photos of Arias anytime soon (which is disappointing because, murderer or not, she IS kinda hot), for just a few hundred bucks, you can own a piece of original Jodi Arias artwork.
In her defense, Jodi Arias cannot technically be classified as a “criminal artist,” at least not yet. In this country, you are innocent until proven guilty, though the cards seem to be stacked against her right now and I would be surprised if this bat-shit-crazy “femme fatale” doesn’t end up on death row. Then again, we all assumed that Casey Anthony would be found guilty.
While I dabble in antiques, collectibles and, occasionally, art, I am certainly no critic. However, Arias does have SOME talent, albeit in an “online art school infomercial” kinda way. Her current medium is colored pencil on cardboard, which I suspect is pretty standard for modern jailhouse art and she seems to be most proficient at drawing the human form, particularly portraiture. This is a welcome change from some of her criminal art counterparts, most of whom have historically preferred to draw rudimentary demons and skulls.
Although most of her artwork resembles something you would find hanging on the walls of Korean-owned nail salon, Jodi Arias is doing pretty well for herself on eBay, raising money for her family’s travel expenses and “so she can eat better food than what they serve in jail,” according to the eBay seller.
I had no idea they offered food “options” in hoosegow.
Only time will tell if Jodi Arias will spend the next couple of decades churning out her artwork from death row or as a woman who got away with murder. Either way, the world is now stuck with another criminal artist.