Jesse Krimes is an interdisciplinary artist based in Philadelphia. After graduating from Millersville University with a Bachelor of Arts in 2008, he was indicted on non-violent drug charges, confined to a violent offender unit for a year, and completed the remaining five years of his sentence in both medium and maximum-security federal prisons. Since returning to society in 2014, Krimes has advocated for prison reform through his artwork, collaborating with Amnesty International, Open Philanthropy, and the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts’ Restorative Justice program. Krimes successfully led a class-action lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase for their predatory practices against ex-offenders. 

Jesse Krimes is the co-founder of Right of Return USA, the first national fellowship dedicated to supporting formerly incarcerated artists. While serving a six-year prison sentence, Krimes produced and smuggled out numerous bodies of work exploring how contemporary media shapes or reinforces societal mechanisms of power and control.

His work has been exhibited at venues including Palais de Tokyo, The International Red Cross Museum, Zimmerli Museum, and Aperture Gallery and will be shown at MoMA PS1 and the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2020. He was awarded fellowships from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation “Artist as Activist,” the Independence Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, the Art For Justice Fund, Captiva Residency, and Creative Capital.

Krimes 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 successfully led a class-action lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase for their predatory practice of charging people released from federal prison exorbitant fees.


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