Prison Art Series # 4: Thomas Silverstein

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.



  1. Hi, Tommy is my husband I am sending him this article. Our friend B.J. alerted me to this blog. I will talk to Tom on the phone April 14th he is allowed 2 calls a month ( so this will be my realtime chance to ask him what he thinks of this and if you have contacted him) He’s created for me some lovely pencil drawings and Watercolor paintings we have a card shop; his work is not there yet but it will be by fall feel free to write him and let him know the support you have for him and if you have seen the card shop. We have a facebook “prisoner of love greeting cards” you can see some of his art there as well very recent…

    1. Hi! Thank you for reaching out!! I just looked at your card shop and they are so lovely, I like them a lot. Wow, I thank you for letting Tommy know about the article and will also write him to let him know that his work is supported by me and I wish him peace, justice, love and light. I do the prison art series on my site as a means to showcase the artist’s work, for these incarcerated artists to be able to connect and share their message with a broader audience. Feel free to contact me at for any other questions/info. Thanks again, Madeleine

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