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British artist, born at Catford, London. After leaving school aged thirteen, he worked at a variety of jobs. He took up painting while in hospital suffering from tuberculosis, 1947–8, then studied at Hornsey College of Art, 1948–51, and the *Royal College of Art, 1951–4. ‘Within a year of leaving it had all gone…All I could do was sit in my little attic studio and play with the sunlight’; he stopped painting, and turned to the world of entertainment, working as a knife-thrower among other things.

Text Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)