Jesse Krimes

Jesse Krimes is a Philadelphia based artist whose work explores power, authority, systems, social hierarchies, norms, transgressions, and conventions of beauty. While serving a 6-year prison sentence, he produced numerous bodies of work, established prison art programs, and worked collaboratively with his peers. After Krimes’ 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 venues including the Palais de Tokyo; International Red Cross Museum, Zimmerli Museum, Goethe Institute; and Aperture Gallery, among other venues.

He has received public commissions from the Ford Foundation, Amnesty International, Mural Arts Philadelphia, and Eastern State Penitentiary. Krimes was awarded fellowships from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation “Artist as Activist” (2017); the Independence Foundation (2017); and the Ford Foundation’s Art For Justice initiative (2018). He is represented by Burning in Water Gallery in New York and recently co-curated HBO’s O.G. Exhibition featuring formerly incarcerated artists.  In addition to his independent work, Krimes successfully led a class-action lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase for their predatory practice of charging people released from federal prison exorbitant fees.

Last updated: Mar 19, 2019