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Jesse Krimes

Philadelphia, PA

Jesse Krimes is a Philadelphia-based artist whose work explores how contemporary media shapes or reinforces societal mechanisms of power and control. While serving a six-year prison sentence, he produced numerous bodies of work, established prison art programs, and worked collaboratively with his peers. After Krimes’s release in 2014, he co-founded Right of Return USA in partnership with the Soze agency, the first national fellowship dedicated to supporting formerly incarcerated artists. His work has been exhibited at the Palais de Tokyo, International Red Cross Museum, Zimmerli Museum, Aperture Gallery, and he has upcoming shows at MoMA PS1 and the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2020. He has received public commissions from Amnesty International, Mural Arts Philadelphia, and Eastern State Penitentiary. Krimes was awarded fellowships from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation “Artist as Activist,” the Independence Foundation, and the Art For Justice Fund. His work is a part of the Agnes Gund Collection and he is represented by Malin Gallery in New York. In addition to his independent practice, he co-curated HBO’s O.G. exhibition featuring formerly incarcerated artists and successfully led a class-action lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase for their predatory practice of charging people released from federal prison exorbitant fees.

Photo: Joe Frantz

Mass Incarceration Quilt


Jesse Krimes is a Philadelphia-based artist whose work explores how contemporary media shapes or reinforces societal mechanisms of power and control.

Artist Bio

The Mass Incarceration Quilt series focuses on rendering visible people and perspectives hidden by the criminal justice system. Using a variety of participatory art practices, the project aims to reframe public narratives that perpetuate mass incarceration, humanizing those whose lives are bound up in the criminal justice system.


Award Year
2020
Status

In Progress