When I was growing up my family tore down a couple of old houses so that we could salvage the lumber for a house my father was going to build. One of the houses was insulated with all these old Spokane Daily Chronicle newspapers from the 30’s. At some point my mother gave them to me and I held onto them for many years. I finally asked myself what I was going to do with them. That is where the idea of doing these charcoal gangster drawings on these old newspapers originated. These were drawings I did with my art class. I made them practice on current newspaper and once the got the hang of it I gave them an old newspaper to draw on.
This series was inspired by gangsters and criminals from the 30’s. Clyde Barrow was half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo. The two’s robbery and murder spree ended with a posse’s ambush in Bienville Parish, LA., on May 23, 1934.
One interesting aspect of this drawing I find interesting is the advertisement in the lower right hand corner for the movie “Marihuana” playing at the Rex theater in Spokane. On the poster it’s called the weed with roots in hell and there are several drawings of hypodermic needles in the advertisement.