Exemplary Prison Art Self-Portrait Painting by Joel Gaines, circa 1970s
A significant example of 1970s era social realism entitled "My Cell, My Studio" by former New York State prison inmate Joel Gaines. This intimate and highly detailed scene of Gaines' life as an artist while imprisoned from 1969-1975 for manslaughter, was painted and exhibited as part of the innovative program "Correction on Canvas". Gifted prisoners were offered an opportunity to find therapy and redemption through art. Despite having never painted before, Gaines became a distinguished artist and an extraordinary role model for other prisoners upon his release. This work, signed with both his name and prisoner number, was part of the paintings on loan system offered by the Library of the Munson Williams Proctor Institute in Utica, NY, before being de-accessioned more than a decade ago. 43.5" x 33.5".