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.
The modern American Mafia took form under the leadership of Charles “Lucky” Luciano (1897-1962). Born in Sicily but raised in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Luciano facilitated the killings of the city’s top two Mafia bosses and brought about fundamental changes to organized crime, setting up the Five Families to rule New York and establishing a National Crime Syndicate. Luciano was convicted on prostitution charges in 1936 but was paroled and deported at the end of World War II.