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Jim Gilbert (1933-1995)

Biography of the artist Jim Gilbert (1933-1995)

Jim Gilbert (1933-1995) was an English painter.

Gilbert was born in 1933 and grew up in the east End of London and was dishonourably discharged from National Service aged 21. He was a huge and powerful man who turned to a life of crime and spent much of his time in jail for crimes ranging from drug smuggling to robbery.

Confined in the 1960s, Gilbert began painting as a form of mental release. Much of his output is in a sombre, narrow palette and reflected his early harsh life experiences.

In 1972, he had his first show in Bath. Gilbert received the Arthur Koestler Award for Prisoner Art and in 1973 he was chosen by The Dylan Thomas Society to paint a portrait of the poet for presentation to US President Jimmy Carter. His later works of Morocco and Spain, where he died in 1995, are more gentle watercolours.

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