Jesse Krimes received a BA in Art from Millersville University in Lancaster, PA. He is a conceptual artist and activist who had served a prison term for a non-violent drug offense. His work explores power, authority, systems, social hierarchies, norms, transgressions and conventions of beauty. While serving a six-year prison sentence, he produced numerous bodies of work that have been exhibited at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the Zimmerli Museum of Rutgers University, Aperture Gallery, Burning in Water Gallery, NY, Loyola University, Maryland Institute College of Art, and the Leonard Pearlstein Gallery of Drexel University, among other venues.
Coincidentally, Jesse had served at the nearby Federal Correctional Institution, Fairton, near Millville, and that kind of synchronicity cannot be ignored.
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. He has also completed public art projects with Amnesty International, Mural Arts Philadelphia, and Eastern State Penitentiary. Krimes is a 2018 Ford Foundation Art for Justice Grantee and a 2017 Robert Rauschenberg Artist as Activist Fellow. He is represented by Burning in Water Gallery in New York. In addition to his independent work, Krimes successfully led a class-action lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase for their predatory practice of charging ex-offenders exorbitant fees.
The artwork Jesse is creating for Emanation 2019 embodies a curious hybridity of both materials and processes, incorporating digitally-printed plastic substrates, botanicals and other natural materials and handblown glass.
Krimes conducted broad experimentation with how his inquiries into complex or fraught subjects would be registered as a seemingly endless, iterative stream of algorithm-mediated imagery. The objective guiding this process was Krimes’ interest in discerning correlations between the organization and dissemination of visual content on the internet and societal values, perceptions and norms. Krimes characterizes the process as “a means to excavate the underlying structures of our digital landscape and its function as a space that reconditions our perceptions of reality.”
~Julie Courtney, Curator