When Montreal-based artist Pat Hamou came across an old lineup photo of Murder Inc. hitman Abe “Kid Twist” Reles in an old New York Daily News, he was mesmerized. He began researching figures from the golden era of Jewish organized crime in New York—”beyond the Bugsy Siegels and the Meyer Lanskys… [to] those minor players in the background,” as he puts it. Four years, countless hours of crosshatching and watercoloring later, Hamou has created an impressive body of work—a beautifully textured and toned portrait of each mobster paired with a well-researched bio—that is also a blog and a book project. Hamou’s series, titled “Six For Five” after the street term for money lending, can currently be seen at sixforfive.blogspot.com.
Top image: Abe Reles