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Jose Montano

"Devil's grip" - Jose Montano

Regular price $80.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $80.00 USD
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Currently incarcerated in California

"From abstract to realism to mechanical, art has the power to portray that which words alone can never do. Art is its own language which requires no translation."

⚖ Description

The artist is currently incarcerated in California. He specializes in intricate black & white drawings.

All original artworks are created by artists previously or currently incarcerated. They use whichever materials they have access to, and prove creative ingenuity beyond the norm. These original paintings and drawings are born in the heart of a prison cell, from the hands of an outsider artist to adorn the walls of your space. Each art piece is a one-of-a-kind that not only enhances your interior but also makes you actively participate in reforming the prison and criminal justice system.

The incarcerated artist receives 50% of the sales proceeds. The artists set their own prices based on the costs of materials (it can vary greatly from one facility to another), the time spent on the piece, their experience, and simply - what they think it’s worth. Alongside with offering a financial outlet, we aim to empower their confidence and reinstitute their status as human beings - not a number behind bars. For most, art is an escape, a path to self-discovery and healing. Through art, they can reconnect with society so the gap is not so unbridgeable when they get out. Through the sales, they can stay connected with their families, afford daily commissary items, pay societal debts, relieve the economic burden on their loved ones, and save up for the release date. So they have the financial means to get ahead of reinsertion and get a fair chance at that second chance.

✎ Product Details

11" x 8" | Pencil on paper

✑ Artist's bio

My name is Jose Montano. I’m 35 years old and of Mexican descent. My parents migrated to the states in the ’80s with very little. They are now both legal residents and owners of small businesses. Although they are separated, they raised 8 children, of which I’m the third oldest. Since I was a child my parents have shown me work ethic and responsibility. My two older sisters were raised by grandma, so being the oldest, I had the weight of having to look after my siblings. That showed me responsibility early. I had to be woken up at 4-5 a.m. when my parents went to work so I could be ready for the bus with my brothers and sisters. I became bored of kid games and would hang out with the older folks at home after school. Always quiet, always listening, I became fond of hearing about adult life; the adventures, the mistakes, the lessons, all were interesting. I would watch in amusement when people would sketch out in the dirt, using twigs or rocks, or even fingers, maps, houses, mountains, giving clarity to their story. I saw art from then on as another language that can unify people who couldn’t understand one another. I began using art whenever possible. What began as lines in the dirt grew into full-blown drawings and paintings on walls, backpacks, trains, anything I could find. Everything became art in my eyes. A love for creating was born. I became fascinated with geo-architecture, free energy, self-sustaining living. I learned mechanical drawing, again blown away by this new style of art. Although rigid in its format, it has the power to unify hundreds, thousands of workers under a single cause. Seemingly impossible structures were constructed through art. Although I eventually changed architecture for graphic design because I needed more freedom to express myself, I still absorbed the use of mechanical drawings. From abstract to realism to mechanical, art has the power to portray that which words alone can never do. Art is its own language which requires no translation. Each person, each world, views art and creates art in their own unique way, and yet we all connect in some form to it. It, art, expresses truths and beauties, lies and ugliness. There is no right or wrong way. There is no guideline for beauty, no certain size a nose should be. Art is free of the limitations industries place on us. It has the potential to tie all of us together through an image, or idea, inspiring change, inspiring action. In the words of Pablo Picasso, “Art is that which shows us the truth”. The eye of the beholder is the measure of beauty, of the truth. Art, for me, is a way of making love to everything that is. I see beauty in every form all around me. Every piece displays a piece of humanity’s past, present, and future. Although art manages to capture on paper objects and ideas once free, it is also capable of freeing minds currently in jails and prisons as it consumes mind, body, and spirit to create. .

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