One of the iconic images of the Swinging Sixties by the artist Richard Hamilton, who died recently, is for sale at Bonhams Print Sale in London on 29 November.
‘Release’ shows Mick Jagger and Hamilton’s art dealer Robert Fraser handcuffed together in the back of a police car shielding their faces from photographers after being arrested for possession of drugs in 1967. The arrest followed a raid earlier in the year on a notorious party at ‘Redlands’ the house of Keith Richards located in West Wittering, West Sussex. The Redlands property, one of two almost identical thatched houses in the Itchenor/West Wittering area, was also the purported location that started the urban legend involving Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull and a well known chocolate bar.
Jagger was sentenced to 3 months imprisonment for possession of 4 amphetamine tablets. This prompted a famous editorial in ‘The Times’ under the title, “Who Breaks a Butterfly Upon a Wheel?’ protesting at the harshness of the sentence which was subsequently reduced to a conditional discharge on appeal.
The print, which was executed in 1972, is based on a photograph of the two men taken at the time. It was produced to benefit an organisation called Release which helped people who had run into trouble with the police and is estimated at £15,000 – 20,000.