There are no criteria to define artistry. While some people may find allure only in the most captivating works of creation and design, others may find solace in midnight graveyard strolls and the sight of long-abandoned buildings which have since succumbed to their inevitable decline.

Beauty is very much in the eye of the beholder. A walk through any museum or art gallery in the world will see crowds of people gathering to view famous portraits of perfectly-captured historical figures, while crimson-tinted depictions of violence, war and bloodshed appeal to a different crowd only several feet away. All men may be created equal, but the same cannot be said for art.

John Wayne Gacy Painting

Kari Cahoon, whose brother Rick Johnston was killed by John Wayne Gacy Jr., throwing one of Gacy’s artworks into outdoor bonfire as crowd applauds. (Photo by John Zich/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

This goes a long way to explain why there are people who find beauty in the artistic outputs of the most heinous men to have ever lived. As you read this, there are thousands of people buying, selling and trading pieces of art painted by hands which were once used to end the life of another. These artistic creations adorn the walls of both rich and the poor; the famous and the ordinary. There is no ‘type’ of person who collects such oddities, as each has their own reasons for doing so.

This is the world of murderabilia.


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