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Andres Reyes

"Mi vida" - Andres Reyes

Regular price $75.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $75.00 USD
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Currently incarcerated in Illinois.

"During my time in prison, I’ve done many years in segregation with nothing but the bare minimum, including pen and paper. I started drawing, and to my surprise, I discovered that I have a talent for art."

⚖ Description

The artist is currently incarcerated in Illinois. She specializes in politically engaged 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

12" x 9" | Pen on drawing paper

✑ Artist's bio

My name is Andres Reyes Jr. I am 39 years old. I was born in Mexico City and raised in Palatine, Illinois from an early age. Growing up in the “hood”, art is everywhere! Art means a whole lot to me because it has been a release for me. It has completely changed my thought process. As a child, I thought my family dynamic was normal. I’ve come to realize that my family was very much dysfunctional. Slowly but surely I went from being a part of my dysfunctional family to becoming a part of the even more dysfunctional environment I lived in. In a sense, I jumped from a psychological frying pan into a social fire. I’ve been incarcerated for almost two decades for an offense that was committed when I was 19 years old. During my time in prison, I’ve done many years in segregation with nothing but the bare minimum, including pen and paper. I started drawing, and to my surprise, I discovered that I have a talent for art. During my incarceration, I’ve participated in the Prison Neighborhood Arts Project, a class that helps create awareness about long-term imprisonment through art. I am now actively participating with Parole Illinois.org. I donate artwork for promotional purposes and fundraising in an effort to bring Parole back to Illinois. You can check out some of my artwork at https://paroleillinois.org/virtual-gallery-draft/#virtualArtGallery. Since my incarceration, I could only be housed in maximum security penitentiaries because of the fact that I have a 75-year sentence. Now, because of good behavior, I was able to obtain a transfer to the Henry Hill Correctional Center, a medium-security penitentiary. Redemption comes in different forms. To me, it came in the form of art. On May 16, 2019, the Illinois Appellate Court issued an opinion in People V. House, 2019 IL App (1st) 110580-B. The appellate court determined that the designation that after age 18 an individual is a mature adult appears to be somewhat arbitrary. The court identified a “need to expand juvenile sentencing provisions for young adult offenders”. All of this applies to me or my case and my sentence is now being reviewed. Ultimately, what the courts are looking for is the potential for rehabilitation in order to reduce a sentence. Before art, I was bad, had a real bad disciplinary record. Now, I can demonstrate to the court that I have rehabilitated myself. I haven’t gotten in trouble for a long time because I’m always busy creating art. .

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