Robber wins art award

Unlike most artists who are just on the bludge this one was a real criminal.

A man serving jail time for armed robbery has won this year’s coveted Doug Moran National Prize for portraiture.

The prize was established by Doug and Greta Moran in 1988 to foster portraiture skills and excellence in photography.

The $150,000 prize has been won by Nigel Milsom for his portrait called Uncle Paddy.

The portrait depicts his grandfather’s friend, who he says would drink with him every Saturday night.

A spokeswoman for the award says he painted the portrait before going to jail.

Judge Daniel Thomas says he was struck by the gentleness the artist captured. 

Instead of sticking his hand out he went on a bender and robbed a 7-11. The cost to society is still probably less than if he was a real artist who went on the bludge for decades, or a ratbag like Brian Rudman who wants tens of millions of dollars wasted on his useless theatre that there is no market for.

TOP artist Nigel Milsom was so high on a cocktail of drugs and booze, he thought he was “buying doughnuts” when he was actually brandishing an axe during a violent corner store robbery.

Milsom, last year’s Sulman Prize winner and Archibald finalist, took a combination of heroin, “ice”, prescription drugs and alcohol the night he robbed a 7-11 store in Glebe with a tomahawk, Downing Centre District Court heard.

The artist has pleaded guilty to robbing the convenience store in the early hours of April 18, 2012, with his drug supplier James Eric Simon – the son of a prominent Aboriginal artist.

The robbery came just weeks after Milsom won the $30,000 art prize for Judo House pt 4 (Golden Mud).

The winner of the 2012 Sulman Prize was local Nigel Milsom for Judo House pt 4. Source: News Limited

Milsom will spend at least three weeks behind bars after Judge Peter Maiden revoked his bail on Friday.

Prosecutor Colin Shaw submitted that the DPP would be asking for Milsom to be jailed.

Armed with a knife, axe and a fake gun, Milsom and Simon bashed and threatened to kill the shopkeeper while holding him hostage in the store room, the court heard.

They fled with $644, 18 packets of cigarettes and $918 worth of mobile phone credit but were arrested by police, according to a set of agreed facts tendered to the court.

Giving evidence, Milsom said he had been taking drugs all that day and had little memory of the robbery.

“My state of mind is hard to describe … I thought I was buying doughnuts,” he told the court.


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  • blokeintakapuna

    “My state of mind is hard to describe … I thought I was buying doughnuts,” he told the court.

    Len could now just say he was giving her a quick, personal tutorial lesson all about politics and how when you least expect it – someone will be trying to fuck you over…

    • Dave

      Well BIT, doughnuts, he certainly couldn’t say he was giving her a Hotdog could he!!

      • blokeintakapuna

        haha – he was trying to feed her a Hotdog – except we now know it was more like a savaloy…

        • Dave

          Limp Cherio perhaps!!

  • Col

    Amazing, lots to think about that painting!!!

  • Dick Brown

    Dude behind bars shows a talent for something. Gets encouragement with a possibility he may use his gifts to make money and give people happiness.

    I see no losers here.

  • lofty

    I had to look at it for a while, and then it grabbed me.
    Extraordinary, and skilful.
    Good on him, like Dick Brown I also see no losers here, I hope his talent takes him to a far better place in life.

  • Cadwallader

    I thought this was a post about Helen Clark…