Jesse Krimes is a Philadelphia based artist whose work explores power, authority, systems, social hierarchies, norms, transgressions and conventions of beauty. Shortly after graduating from Millersville University in 2008, he was indicted by the U.S. government and sentenced to a six-year term in federal prison. Over the period of his incarceration, he produced numerous bodies of work exploring his experiences and reflecting on contemporary society. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Previous solo exhibitions include "Strange Roots" at Burning in Water (2018; New York); "Apokaluptein" at Loyola University (2018; Baltimore, MD); "Purgatory" at the Spagnuole Art Gallery, Georgetown University (2017; Washington, DC); "Marking Time in America at Burning in Water" (2016; New York), "Deus Ex Machina" at Drexel University (2016; PA); and "Apokaluptein" at the Zimmerli Museum (2015; New Brunswick, NJ). Krimes’ work has been included in group exhibitions in venues including the Palais de Tokyo (Paris); the Goethe Institute (New York); Aperture Gallery (New York); the Maryland Institute College of Art (Baltimore); the Hampshire College Art Museum (Hampshire, MA)
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 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 (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. 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.