Monday, March 16, 2009
Best known by the moniker Spel, Hernan Cortes is serving life without parole for a 1990 murder that he contends he did not commit. His supporters have been selling his paintings to fund his defense. Bold acrylic abstracts, painted by the artist known as Spel in his 12-by-6-foot cell, have moved beyond prison walls to exhibitions and one-man shows around Philadelphia. A few of his works have sold for more than $1,000, but most sell for a few hundred dollars.