jesse krimes


Past Exhibitions


The O.G. Experience

Hosted by HBO - 525 West 24th Street

February 20 - February 25, 2019

Co-curated by gallery artist Jesse Krimes and hosted by HBO, “The O.G. Experience” is a group exhibition featuring works by formerly-incarcerated artists. It will run concurrently with the debut of the HBO film O.G. starring Tony and Emmy award winning actor Jeffrey Wright. 


Strange Roots

Burning in Water - New York, 507 West 27th Street

September 13 - November 3, 2018

Press Release


Burning in Water - New York is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Philadelphia-based artist Jesse Krimes: Strange Roots.  Encompassing free-standing sculptures, mobiles, and installations, Strange Roots is the artist's second solo show with the gallery. The artworks in Strange Roots embody a curious hybridity of both materials and processes, incorporating digitally-printed plastic substrates, botanicals and other natural materials, and handblown glass. 

Krimes began the investigations that would ultimately result in the artworks in Strange Roots with extensive research into digital image search algorithms - employing Google image search queries to examine how an array of sociopolitical, historical and cultural themes were reflected back visually to the user through the prism of the digital ecosystem.


Marking time in America - The Prison Works

Burning in Water - New York, 317 10th Avenue

August 4 - September 24, 2016

Press Release


Jesse Krimes: Marking Time in America- The Prison Works (2009-2013) served as the first solo gallery exhibition of work by Jesse Krimes in the US. 

The exhibition featured two comprehensive bodies of work that Krimes completed during a six-year period of incarceration for a non-violent drug offense: Purgatory and Apokaluptein. Krimes produced Purgatory, which includes 292 separate portraits rendered on prison-issued bars of soap, during his first year of incarceration prior to sentencing while being held in a maximum security 23-hour "lock-down" environment. Apokaluptein resulted from three years of sustained artistic labor, during which time Krimes produced a large-scale tapestry using 39 individual federal prison bedsheets.

Marking Time in America enjoyed a strong critical reception and was the subject of features in the Wall Street Journal, Blouin, The Star Ledger, National Public Radio, Bloomberg, The Financial Times and multiple other media outlets. 

This exhibition was presented in collaboration with JustLeadershipUSA.

Exhibition videoS



ARTNET NEWS: From Joan Mitchell’s Early Works to Daniel Arsham’s Dystopian Future: 45 Can’t-Miss Gallery Shows in New York This September

-Sarah Cascone & Caroline Goldstein

Burning in Water will debut its new gallery space with the work of Jesse Krimes, who created a massive 39-piece mural, one section at a time from scavenged art supplies while serving a six-year prison sentence. His new work, created since his release, are sculptures and installations created based on the results of Google image search queries and attempting to map the algorithmic networks behind the search engine.

507 West 27th Street; September 13–November 3, 2018, opening reception 6 p.m.–8 p.m.


HYPERALLERGIC: How Can Artists Help Shape More Humane Drug Policies?

-Benjamin Sutton

One of the projects to be highlighted at Monday’s talk is the Museum of Drug Policy, a roving initiative that has popped up in New York, Montreal, Mexico City, and London of late. Through visual art and performances, it addresses how different communities throughout the world are affected by drug policies. In addition to showcasing prints from the Museum, the evening’s conversation — between poet and memoirist Reginald Dwayne Betts, conceptual artist Jesse Krimes, and the Director of the Open Society Global Drug Policy Program Kasia Malinowska — will be moderated by its production director, Daveen Trentman. The conversation will address both the needs of those dealing with addiction to the dangers faced by populations caught up in the dragnet of global drug control policies and policing.


THE WALL STREET JOURNAL:   Prison, Paper and Puns in New York's Art Galleries

-Peter Plagens    

Both works [by Jesse Krimes] are stunning: Purgatory--especially as displayed, on a long shelf with the cards against a black wall--because necessity made it so original, and heaven-and-earth Apokaluptein because its as good as Rauschenberg's similar works and, perhaps, more heartfelt and lyrical.


THE NEW YORKER:   Jesse Krimes    

A tapestry on prison-issued bedsheets--a weird, oneiric landscape festooned with faeries, fields, and images transferred from prison copies of the New York Times and Artforum. Pictures of Rihanna and Taylor Swift, not to mention an ad for a Christie's Sale, assume a mournful character as absurdist totems of freedom while enduring draconian punishment.


THE WALL STREET JOURNAL:   An Artist's Secret Life Behind Bars

-Ellen Gamerman    

The exhibition's centerpiece is a work...that Mr. Krimes made while at a federal prison in Fairton, NJ. He created a 39 panel mural on white prison bed sheets...The artist took photos from newspapers and magazines and transferred them onto the sheets using hair-gel to lift the image and a plastic spoon to rub the image onto the sheet. He then drew and painted his own figures onto the works. The panels move from heaven to hell and feature a riot of images whose subjects range from Hurricane Sandy to Taylor Swift, from Jean Michel-Basquiat to Chanel.


NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO:   Interview with Jesse Krimes

-David Brancaccio


ARTLYST:   Survival Strategy

-Lizanne Merrill

...‘Apokaluptein’ reads as a dream. Krimes depicts a mythical landscape far removed from his physical space. It is a place his demons and angels can dance. The images within each panel were crafted by using a spoon to smooth hair gel over clippings from newspapers and periodicals, including Artforum and Art in America! There are also drawings in pencil throughout the panels. There is a faded fresco quality to the transfers that mixes with the phantasmagoric content to remind one of an old religious mandala. It is inspiring to witness such greatness of imagination in such bleak circumstance. While his being was in lock down his spirit soared to explore alter realities.

Jesse Krimes, Apokaluptein, 2009 - 2013, gouache, graphite, ink, image transfers on prison-issued bedsheets.

Jesse Krimes, Apokaluptein, 2009 - 2013, gouache, graphite, ink, image transfers on prison-issued bedsheets.


-Works by Jesse Krimes are on display in the group exhibition Emanation 2019 at the Museum of American Glass at the Wheaton Arts & Cultural Center in Millville, New Jersey. Emanation 2019 runs through December 31, 2019.



 Jesse Krimes (b. 1982, Lancaster, PA) lives and works in Philadelphia. Previous solo exhibitions include 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) and 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) and the Leonard Pearlstein Gallery at Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA). He has received public commissions from the Ford Foundation and the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. Krimes was awarded fellowships from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation (2017); the Independence Foundation (2017); and the Ford Foundation’s Art for Justice initiative (2018). 

Krimes’ artworks have been cited in numerous publications, including Hyperallergic, The Wall Street Journal, Blouin, The Star Ledger, National Public Radio, Bloomberg, and The Financial Times.


Curriculum Vitae