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5 Ways to View Prison Art

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Read about our artists here, then click their name to visit their online portfolio. 

We're on a first name basis with our artists. Please view prison art by first name. 

Greetings! My name is Michael Apelt. I am a 55 year old self-taught artist from Germany. I became interested in abstract and contemporary art as a way of escaping the gray walls of this place. Art helps me express my artistic talent, which I use as a tool to help pass the time in a productive, positive, and uplifting manner.

I have been an artist for about 27 years, using mostly colored pencil and paper. I recently started painting on canvas and, with the help and encouragement of my legal team, feel I'm making great strides in matching my painting ability with that of my pencil with pencil. 

Art has a way of providing me a certain amount of focus in abstract images and style of colorful expressionism. I think each of my paintings tell a personal story of both common and special relationships and memories that I hope will be appreciated.

Your generous support will help me with art resources and rehabilitative programs. I have many ideas for more work and welcome the challenge of any special requests from my viewers.

Welcome. The stunning work of prison artist, Anthony Michael Draven is brought to you by PrisonArtWare.com

Prior to being incarcerated for a crime he did not commit, nor had any part of, Michael Draven was an actor(several stage appearances as well as two indie films of which he played lead characters), a budding filmmaker, writer (poetry ,scripts, etc), a business minded individual and owner of his own photography and film company (he has many other plans for businesses as well varying in subject).

His style of photography would be best described as a natural, emotional way of photography. It was done by his gut and the feelings that lead to such photographs; the raw instinct to listen to the Muses of creativity.

Society clings to a beauty or what it thinks it means to be beautiful which Draven does not adhere to. He abhors the self-absorbed, fake reality-driven egotistical harlots (male and female) whom haven’t a clue.

As to what true beauty is, as they are unaware of who they are and their place in this universe, Draven adheres to the beauty ,the simplicity, of a grandmother’s happiness holding her grandson; a flower being a flower; the glory of the moon and sun or the humor of a donkey being spray-painted to look like a zebra, and the locals of Mexico charging Americans $5 to take a photo with it. These are the subjects of his eye that captures his imagination and so much more. For the better part of 10 years (his incarceration so far, of a LIFE sentence) these images have collected the digital dust of time and now will be available to the public for its enjoyment.

It is in his opinion that no matter whom it may be, you will always have those you despise your directions in life, whether you are a dancer, actor, artist or other, bear no chains, unshackle all fears and let no one hold you back from following your truest intent of heart and spirit. Artists as a whole are frowned upon by the heads of acceptable societal norms yet we are the ones who create all the world to see ,whether words ,drawings ,photos, statues, or the very buildings of which they seat their power. We are the true masters of society and its unlimitless potential.Draven’s only regret is the loss of 10 years worth of photographs he would have created and shared with the world if her were among you. His devotion, beliefs and faith to the European traditionalist viewpoint of Wicca/Witchcraft (don’t believe the stereotypes or misconceptions that is propaganda sowed by those with differing belief systems) that his grandmother taught him, or the way he was born and raised in Virginia his mother and the values he grew up on, and the fact of his Romanian and Irish heritage all influenced his art style and the imagery of which you see. To see past the general object of beauty and capture the hidden mystery of its existence. As an artist we all have our Muses, his are his friends, family and the Gods, Goddesses ,spirits, and ancestors who drives him in all his does whatever the format of artistry.

Whether his emotional photography, his dark poetry or some other work ,he only wishes for you to enjoy it and take time to cherish friends, family and the breath of freedom so many take for granted

Born out of sorrow, comes the severe hallucinations crafted by the twisted mind of Empty aka Michael Jasper. Stigmatized by a system out of control, images manifest to his adept hands. Equally versed in creation as well as the destruction of art. He and his art are thus influenced by the great surrealists M.C. Escher, Salvador Dali, and the greatest H.R. Giger. He manipulates his muses into a style he refers to as “Horror Porn”, giving your mind and eyes powerful orgasms. He only wishes for you to join in his pain, see his hate, enjoy his lust, and experience his anguish.

Classically schooled in art, as well as life’s hard lessons of love and hate, his style and ambiance transcend traditional values and viewpoints. His work comes alive as a shadow lurking in corners or as a moment of clarity in the chaos of life, equally bruising your mind and spirit as you embrace it. 

From Baltimore, MD, he was fueled by Heavy Metal and sickness, helpless to his calling as an artist, allowing his emotions to bleed his instruments dry, whether pen, pencil, or brush. Embracing his madness, he finds his solace moments of creation, as all artists do. And in the most chaotic of places, prison, with only simple copy paper, prison safety pins, and pieces of prison shoes used as an eraser, he thus creates his dreams, memories, and nightmares for your delight. He occasionally ventures into color using a child’s love for coloring and their imagination yet in the hands of a skilled master still evolving. 

Aside from these stand alone originals, he is also currently illustrating the words and madness of a graphic novelist. Over his 40 plus years of life, this is the first collaboration he’s been privy to. He only wonders why at 46 it hasn’t happened before, to share his art to create with another. He yearns as all artists for his art, ideas, and dreams to fly into the realms of success. To put behind him the days of living in a graveyard like some love-struck ghoul wanted an old forgotten love. Or was he simply a fool as all artists have been called when one dares to dream?

So here he presents this menagerie for you to enjoy and revel in a dreamer’s dream.

Read about our artists here, then click their name to visit their online portfolio. 

We're on a first name basis with our artists. Please view prison art by first name. 

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