Women are looked at. But as an artist, I had permission to look back.
Where the respectable avert their gaze, artists stare. In the Renaissance, we dissected bodies in order to grasp the workings of a shoulder joint. We drew naked models at a time when women corseted themselves neck to knees. We took rooms in brothels and captured courtrooms where no cameras could go. Our sketchpads are our excuse.
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Molly Crabapple is an artist, journalist, and author of the memoir, Drawing Blood. Called "An emblem of the way art can break out of the gilded gallery" by the New Republic, she has drawn in and reported from Guantanamo Bay, Abu Dhabi's migrant labor camps, and in Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, the West Bank, and Iraqi Kurdistan. Crabapple is a contributing editor for VICE, and has written for publications including The New York Times, Paris Review, and Vanity Fair. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.
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