Feb 15, 2023
image above: While serving five years in a U.S. federal prison, Jesse Krimes created elaborate works of art using materials like bedsheets, newspaper and hair gel. (Frantz Photography)
WN: I’ve met many skilled artists in prison. What an abject travesty prisons are, even when it comes to art!
Jesse Krimes is one of the most talked-about visual artists in the world right now — and some of his most famous work was made in a U.S. prison.
The Philadelphia-based artist served five years of a six-year sentence in a federal penitentiary after being convicted of a non-violent drug offence. While incarcerated, he secretly created monumental works of art using materials like bedsheets, hair gel and newspapers, smuggling the pieces out one-by-one through the prison mail room.
Like anyone who’s spent time in prison, Krimes had to adjust to life on the outside when he was released, but his situation was made more complicated by the fact that he was trying to find his footing as a rising star in the world of art. The artist was awarded a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship and his work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Now, nearly a decade after his release, he’s the subject of a new MTV documentary, Art & Krimes by Krimes, available on Paramount+.
Listen to Krimes discuss his work in an interview on Q with Tom Power.
Please click on: Jesse Krimes secretly created epic works of art