Jack Bilbo (as he preferred to be known) was born in Berlin, Germany on 13 September 1907. He was variously a sailor, tramp, stage designer, reporter, author, self-taught artist, and gallery owner. Arrested for anti-fascist activities in 1933, he escaped to France, then Spain, arriving in England in 1936. Interned in Onchan camp, Isle of Man, for six months, he organised art exhibitions visited by 1500 internees, afterwards establishing the Modern Art Gallery in London as a platform ‘against Hitlerism’. It became a vital meeting place for artists including Kurt Schwitters. Bilbo’s own art, influenced by Surrealism, depicts bizarre, erotic or grotesque themes. Postwar he returned to Berlin, where he opened a bar. Jack Bilbo died in Berlin, Germany on 19 December 1967.