Prison Art Series # 4: Thomas Silverstein
Madeleine’s Mind is pleased to introduce the 4th edition of prison art series.
A series in association with my New Single Mr Jailer
This is a series that features artwork by incarcerated artists. A visible manifestation of our invisible people. There is incredible talent behind bars and their rehabilitation is seen in these artistic expressions. Their regrets, their hopes, their truth.
Thomas Silverstein was brought to my attention by a friend of mine from Brooklyn, NY. He noticed my interest in prison art and mentioned to me that I should check out Silverstein’s work, needless to say it was a wonderful suggestion as this is an artist whose work I am deeply intrigued with. It’s not just the starkness and the raw emotion that these images conjure up that intrigues me, it is also the story of Thomas himself. This is the 4th edition of the prison art series and all the incarcerated artists stories have affected me, but Thomas is very unique. The United States holds tens of thousands of people in long-term solitary confinement, but the case of Tommy Silverstein is perhaps the most extreme. He has been kept in isolation for the last 27 years, more than anyone else in the federal prison system. The intricate details of his case stem deep into the abyss of psychological and moral debate and can be read in detail on his blog. But what I find so intriguing is Tommy Silverstein’s own reflections on the physical and psychological effects of his 28 years in solitary and on his own development as a self-taught artist and practitioner of yoga and Buddhist meditation.
The spirit must express itself, the only release: The expression of the spirit.