Infamous prisoner teams with Milton Keynes artist for fundraising venture

An infamous prisoner and a Milton Keynes artist have collaborated on a new booklet to raise cash for charity.

Friday, 12th October 2018, 3:32 pm
Updated Saturday, 13th October 2018, 4:04 am
Charles Salvador

Charles Salvador, perhaps better known under his previous guise Charles Bronson, and JJ Stellitano have worked together a number of times previously, and prints of their work have raised funds for charities including the Breast Care Unit at MK Hospital, Headway, and MK charity, Keeping Kids Off The Streets.

Despite having developed a close bond, Charles and JJ have never met, and their work is created using the aid of snail mail.

“I mightn’t have met Charlie, but I can honestly say that before writing to him, I never quite understood how much letters can mean to someone,” JJ said. “I have become very close to Charlie and I feel privileged to know him.

JJ Stellitano with some of the work he has collaborated on with Charlie

“Our bond is very special and our art raises thousands of pounds for charity.

“For me, that is simply amazing.”

And this new booklet, titled Creators of Art Come Together, is set to bring in more cash: Keech Hospice in Luton will benefit this time around – a charity chosen by Charlie.

The booklet is crammed with examples of their creative collaborations, together with Charlie’s and JJ’s poetry and Q&As with both artists.

One of the pieces of art by Charles and JJ

Charles Salvador has spent a total of 44 years incarcerated. He was sentenced to seven years in prison for armed robbery in 1974, and a series of incidents in jail have resulted in a life sentence.

But JJ says it is his notoriety, rather than his crimes, which have kept Charlie in prison for so long.

“I can honestly say the man I know is a kind-hearted gentleman who has been supportive to me, and kind to my family and friends. He has done his time and should now be free.

“People don’t realise that he is a very intelligent man and not the thug he is portrayed as in the media.”

Charlie said: “Fences, walls, razor wire, cameras and dogs separate our art.

“Imagine if they let JJ into my world for a week’s art project. What could we create in the same room? I’ll tell you...a masterpiece.”