The Owl Capone series consists of six acrylic on canvas panel paintings which thematically mirror Al Capone’s life.
Just as his fictitious feathered doppelganger, Al Capone saw great heights at the beginning of his criminal career. He controlled a vast criminal enterprise, which made him feel on top of the world.
On March 24, 1930, Time Magazine put Al Capone on its cover, naming him “Man of the Year.” By this time, Al Capone was well known as a gangster and violent mob boss, but he had managed to avoid prosecution for his dastardly deeds. His only conviction to-date was for conceal carrying a weapon in Philadelphia, widely regarded as a set-up.
By 1931, the extent of Capone’s criminal enterprise and blood-soaked fortune came to the forefront of American conscience. Owl Capone also suffered from the same level of notoriety, his vast extravagance with spending currency making him a target for public scrutiny.
By the middle of 1931, Al Capone became wanted by the authorities as public enemy number one. At the time, it would have been difficult to find someone in the United States who was not aware of Capone’s alleged crimes against the public interest. His rich history of violence was plastered in the media for all to see.
On June 17, 1931, Capone was arrested and later went on trial for tax evasion charges. On October 18, he was convicted of tax evasion and on November 24, was sentenced to eleven years in federal prison, fined $50,000 and charged $7,692 for court costs, in addition to $215,000 plus interest due on back taxes.
After his conviction, Capone served over seven years in maximum security prisons, including Alcatraz. His larger than life personality destroyed by illness, Capone was never the same again. After his release, Capone never returned to his previous criminal ways, in part because of brain damage he had suffered while locked up. In 1946, a Baltimore psychiatrist concluded that Capone then had the mentality of a 12-year-old child. He died of pneumonia and stroke on January 25, 1947, thus ending a bloody chapter in American history.