Over the last 40 years, incarceration has grown into an $80 billion industry. One that depends on the human caging of 2.3 million people to extract wealth and resources from the economically-distressed, and disproportionately black and brown, communities unjustly targeted by our criminal legal system. Companies like Securus and Union Supply charge spouses $3.95 to listen to a voicemail from their partners and mothers $4.15 to deposit $10 on the commissary accounts of their children.
Incarcerated people know best that profits in the prison industry are directly linked to suffering. Often, however, words fall short in conveying the harms that commercialization inflicts.
Capitalizing on Justice features the works of incarcerated artists from across the nation who have used their talents to express the ways they and their loved ones have been commodified. Spanning a variety of genres and styles, the works in this exhibition were made using limited resources: state-issued materials, prison contraband, and yard scraps. They were shipped in makeshift envelopes and tattered boxes from as deep in our criminal legal system as Arkansas’ death row and come together to make a strong statement against the prison industrial complex.
Importantly, thanks to funding support, the incarcerated artists whose works are showcased in this exhibit have received financial awards in compensation for their labor.
We want to extend a special thanks to our curatorial committee without which the exhibition would not have been possible: Dwayne Betts, Kimberly Drew, Nicole Fleetwood, Jesse Krimes, and Ché Morales. We also want to extend our deep gratitude to our generous exhibition sponsors: Jess Jacobs, Julia Lourie, Lisa Lourie, Robert Lourie, Kaitlyn Krieger, Raymond McGuire, Michael and Sukey Novogratz, Cat Gund, and Hillary Hamm. Finally, we extend our deep gratitude to all the artists who submitted works for this exhibition.
This is an online version of the live exhibition on display at 40 Rector Street, 9th Floor, NY, NY 10019. It is open to the public Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm, excluding holidays. This online gallery includes additional pieces not selected for the exhibition.
Please contact us to organize special group tours of the exhibition or to inquire about purchasing any of the art works.