John Wayne Gacy Paintings

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John Wayne Gacy Paintings

The John Wayne Gacy paintings are a series of artworks made by the serial killer known as the Killer Clown, who was convicted of the torture and murder of thirty-three young men, many of whom were buried on the property of his Illinois, Chicago home. It has been suggested that Gacy was responsible for the deaths of as many as forty-five victims.

Some had worked for the construction businessman, who often tricked the young men into wearing handcuffs on the pretext of showing a magic trick. Once restrained, the victims were attacked, raped and eventually strangled to death.

These crimes were committed between the years of 1967 to 1978, when Gacy was eventually arrested and charged with multiple murders after the decomposing bodies were found in the crawl place under his house. After receiving his death sentence, Gacy remained on death row, where he was eventually executed for his crimes in May 1994.

A prolific artist, Gacy created many different paintings during his time on death row. These works represented a variety of themes and depictions and comprised many opposite ends, from landscape to portrait, religion to death and Elvis to Hitler and Charles Manson.

John Wayne Gacy Paintings – Portrait Paintings

A painting of mass murderer and cult leader Charles Manson.
A painting of bank robber John Dillinger.
Gacy's painting of Elvis Presley.
A caricature painting of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
A painting of an unknown man.
A self-portrait of serial killer John Wayne Gacy.

Gacy seemingly held an affinity for clowns. During his murder spree, he dressed up and performed as a clown after becoming involved with the “Jolly Joker” clown club, whose members regularly performed at parades and fundraising events, as well as voluntarily entertaining hospitalized children.

Joining the club in 1975, Gacy created the person of his own clown character, assuming the names “Pogo the Clown” and “Patches the Clown”. Gacy also did his own make-up and created his own costumes. Explaining his clowns, Gacy described Pogo as a “happy clown”, whereas Patches was a “more serious” character.

While rarely earning money from his appearances as Pogo the Clown at numerous local parties, political functions, charitable events, and children’s hospitals, Gacy admitted that acting as a clown allowed him to “regress into childhood”. It was Gacy’s public performances as a clown that earned him the nickname, “The Killer Clown”.

As a result, Clowns feature prominently in his artwork. Some appear to be linked to themes of death, with one featuring a skull wearing a clown hat and ruff collar. Another painting depicts Pennywise the clown from Stephen King’s novel It, which featured a being who took the form of a clown to murder children.

John Wayne Gacy Paintings – Clown Paintings

Gacy as Pogo the Clown
Gacy's painting of Pennywise the Clown from It.
A painting of a clown.
A painting of a skull wearing clown regalia.
A painting of a native American Indian skull.
A painting of one of Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer's skulls.

One of the most surprising themes of Gacy’s paintings was religion. Although his family, of Polish and Danish ancestry were Catholic, and Gacy himself presumably raised a Catholic, it is unknown if Gacy found God and religion while on death row.

John Wayne Gacy Paintings – Religious Paintings

A painting of Christ.
Gacy's painting of Christ wearing a crown of thorns.
Gacy's painting of a church stained glass window.
Gacy's painting of heaven.

Other themes of Gacy’s creativity included landscape art that show Islands and Oceans, along with some that feature the Seven Dwarf’s, from Disney’s Snow White film. This subject matter could possibly show Gacy’s preference for children’s movies, again part of his childhood regression.

John Wayne Gacy Paintings – Landscape Paintings

Gacy's painting of an Island.
Gacy's painting of an ocean.
The seven dwarfs crossing a fallen tree.
The seven dwarf's sitting around a fire.

Many of Gacy’s artwork has been displayed at exhibitions, while others have been sold privately and at auctions, with individual prices ranging from $200 up to as much as $20,000. Following his execution in 1994, the family members of his many victims publicly burned several of his paintings.

Written by Nucleus

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