Artist Jesse Krimes stands in front of his 39-panel mural Apokaluptein:16389067 (federal prison bed sheets, transferred New York Times images, color pencil) installed, here, at the Olivet Church Artist Studios, Philadelphia. January, 2014.
In 2009, Jesse Krimes (yes that is his real name) was sentenced to 70 months in a federal penitentiary for cocaine possession and intent to distribute. The judge sentenced Jesse to a minimum security prison in New Jersey, close to support network of friends and family, but the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) opted to send him to a medium security facility in Butner, North Carolina.
His way of coping with the life-changing sentence went a bit more differently than you would expect. He got by with a little help from federal prison bed sheets, hair gel, The New York Times, and some color pencils. Although money was limited in prison, he never struggled to gather enough money to purchase these objects. You might be thinking these are random, but, in fact, they are what made prison life a somewhat more passable experience.
While experimenting with these four materials, Krimes discovered that he could transfer the newspaper images onto the prison bedsheets. At first he used water to do this, but that did not work. Hair gel, on the other hand, had the requisite viscosity to do the job. He was not aware that three years after, he would end up with a 39-panel mural. Each transfer took 30-minutes. Thousands make up the mural. Krimes only worked on one bed-sheet at a time, each of them matching the size of the tabletop he worked on. The laborious routine kept Krimes sane, focused and disciplined.
At age 72, Mernet Larson is having her first solo show in new york right now. Her show Three Chapters is slated to be shown in three consecutive bodies of work– Heads and Bodies, Places, and Narratives. The first two have already come and gone, but if you’re in the NY area you should check out her Narratives chapter at the Johannes Vogt gallery before it gets taken down on the 27th . “These works navigate the divide between abstraction and representation with a form of geometric figuration that owes less to Cubo-Futurism than to de Chirico, architectural rendering and early Renaissance painting of the Sienese kind. They relish human connection and odd, stretched out, sometimes contradictory perspectival effects, often perpetuated by radical shifts in scale.” - New York Times (via)
Pia Bramley uses ink wash to make impressionist drawings that are marvelous embodiments of the word Dreamy. But unlike surrealist artists, who consciously try to render a dreamscape and thereby make us think more about the idea of said painting being an interesting dream, Pia’s just make you feel like you’re dreaming when you look at her work. Which we could probably all agree is a real treat. If they look familiar, you might have seen them in the New York Times or on plates from Anthropologie.
Ted Mcgrath is an artist and musician currently living in Brooklyn, NY. His scribbly illustrations have appeared in a myriad of publications including The New York Times, New York Magazine, Bloomberg Business Week, NYLON, The Village Voice, and Bust.
NYC photographer Rachel Citron has been documenting the more creative side of the protests from the imaginative protest signs to the colorful and sometimes outrages protest uniforms. Read a short article by Citron about her experiences on the New York Times blog.