Blood Mystic

George Gittoes

George Gittoes defies categorisation, as his life defies belief.

Equal parts artist and warrior, George is famous for waging war on war with art, circus, photography and film. ‘Soldiers die for flags. For me it is art,’ he says.

Blood Mystic, chronicles George’s extraordinary life for the first time. In its pages, the reader is drawn into the astounding mind of a man who has worked with Andy Warhol, dined with Fidel Castro, plotted with Julian Assange, been feted by Nelson Mandela, blessed by Mother Theresa, and sneezed on by the Dalai Lama, all the while exhibiting relentless energy and an outstanding ability to outwit death itself.

Blood Mystic begins with George flying back to Jalalabad carrying a letter from the Taliban threatening to chop off his head and show the decapitation on live TV. With characteristic nerve, George defies the Taliban’s threat and proceeds with his mission to film with street kids in the most dangerous city on earth – the Ghostbuster street exorcists, the Snow Monkey ice cream boys, the urchin girls and kuchi kids, the child gangsters with razor blades under their lips.

As the danger grows, George reflects deeply on a life less ordinary – his boyhood as the sole heir to his gangster grandfather in Rockdale, his escape to New York, the Yellow House art revolution in Kings cross, crazy brave adventures in outback Australia, ghetto America, Nicaraguan jungles, war-torn Cambodia, Baghdad badlands, hollow Bosnia, and beyond.


George Gittoes was born in Rockdale, NSW in 1949. After working with Andy Warhol and the Black Panthers in New York, he founded the Yellow House in Sydney with Martin Sharp. He has won many prizes for his painting – including twice being awarded the Blake Prize for Religious Art. Gittoes’ acclaimed documentaries include Bullets of the Poets (1986), Soundtrack to War (2004), Rampage (2006) and Micreants of Taliwood (2007). All the while he has exhibiting his paintings and campaigned for peace around the world. George is the father of two children, Harley and Naomi, and lives in Sydney with his partner Hellen Rose.


ISBN: 9781743534809 RRP: $44.99 Imprint: Macmillan Australia Format: Paperback

Here are some options for purchasing the book online on Tuesday 25 October, or to pre-order now:


Author Talk Brisbane  

October 22 @ 2pm – 3:15

Cinema A, QAGOMA – Stanley Place, South Brisbane

In conversation (45 min), Followed by: Q&A (15min), book signing (15 min)

Hosted by Peter McKay (Curator)

Author Talk Canberra

October 23 @ 3:15pm – 4:30pm

National Portrait Gallery – King Edward Terrace

In conversation (45 min) Followed by: Q&A (15min), book signing (15 min)

Hosted by Dr Christopher Chapman (NPG Senior Curator)

Author Talk Melbourne 

October 24 @ 6:30pm – 8pm

Readings St Kilda – 112 Acland St, St Kilda

In conversation (45 min) Followed by: Q&A (15min), book signing (15 min)
Hosted by Jemima Bucknell

Radio Interview

October 25 @ 7:45am – 8am

Station: ABC WA, State-Wide Drive Program

Presenter: Barry Nicholls

Radio Interview 

October 25 @ 10am – 10:30am

Station: ABC 702 Sydney, Mornings Program