IN PERSON: Director Alysa Nahmias, featured artists Russell Craig, Jared Owens, & Gilberto Rivera and Jesse Krimes, moderated by Ear Hustle‘s Nigel Poor & Earlonne Woods!
Isolated in an environment where segregation and hyper-masculine posturing are as rampant as personal expression is verboten, 26 year-old artist Jesse Krimes covertly creates conceptual art during his six-year prison sentence. Jesse’s detailed crafting of this artwork – including a large-scale mural made out of bedsheets, newspaper, and hair gel – provides a mental escape from the dehumanizing surroundings, while inspiring unexpected connections with a variety of souls around him.
With the help of fellow artists, Jesse smuggles out individual panels of his work piece-by-piece to avoid being caught with contraband, only seeing his artwork in totality after coming home. His creations, Apokaluptein: 16389067 and Purgatory, mark his experience with incarceration and his perspective as an artist.
As Jesse’s work captures the art world’s attention, he struggles to adjust to life outside, living with the threat that any misstep will trigger a life sentence. Leaning into his own identity as a formerly incarcerated and celebrated artist, Jesse turns the spotlight on people still in prison, recognizing beauty and potential often overlooked, and reminding us of the transcendent power of art to connect us and to elevate the human spirit.
Directed by: Alysa Nahmias. Executive Producer: Sheila Nevins. Featuring: Jesse Krimes, Russell Craig, Jared Owens, Gilberto Rivera.