‘Art & Krimes by Krimes’ Screening At Parrish Art

On Friday, October 21 at 6 PM, the Parrish Art Museum will screen “Art & Krimes by Krimes,” an award-winning documentary directed by Alysa Nahmias that chronicles the story of artist Jesse Krimes who secretly created monumental works of art during years of incarceration. The screening will be followed by a talk via Zoom with Namias and artists Krimes, Russell Craig, Jared Owens, and Gilberto Rivera, moderated in-person by Corinne Erni, Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs and Senior Curator of ArtsReach and Special Projects at the Parrish.

In 2009, after graduating with an art degree from Millersville University in his native Pennsylvania, Krimes was arrested on cocaine possession charges and sentenced to six years in federal prison. In solitary confinement, he realized he could transfer photographs from newspapers and magazines onto tiny soap squares using hair gel and a plastic spoon and hid the portraits in decks of cards. But his major project was Apokaluptein: 16389067–a 40-foot mural made with prison bed sheets, hair gel, and newspaper. Krimes systematically smuggled out each panel, piece-by-piece, with the help of fellow artists. In an interview, he described the work as “a contemporary version of Dante’s heaven, earth, and hell where politicians, celebrities, and offenders serve as archangels, angels, and demons.” Krimes saw the complete Apokaluptein for the first time upon his release. In 2021 it was part of a MoMA PS1 exhibition, which featured work by other formerly imprisoned artists including Russell Craig, Jared Owens, and Gilberto Rivera.

With Craig, Krimes co-founded the Right of Return Fellowship for formerly incarcerated artists. He has collaborated and received public commissions with a focus on prison reform from organizations including Amnesty International, Ford Foundation, Open Philanthropy, and the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts’ Restorative Justice program, among others. Krimes was awarded fellowships by Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in 2017, the Independence Foundation in the same year, and the Ford Foundation’s Art For Justice initiative in 2018.

“Art & Krimes by Krimes” features animation by acclaimed animator Molly Schwartz in collaboration with Krimes, and an original score is by Amanda Jones in collaboration with formerly incarcerated musicians who are alumni of Musicambia. This year, the film won the Audience Award at the Filmocracy Fest and the Best Documentary Feature award at the Riverrun International Film Festival. It was an official selection of the Heartland International, Philadelphia, Denver, NYC DOC, and other film festivals.

Advance ticket purchase with pre-event registration is recommended. Visit parrishart.org.



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