Politico: George Bush’s Paintings Aren’t Funny

…the media loves Bush’s paintings. They’re ideal clickbait-kitsch from a boy who would grow into an adorable grandpa, without ever becoming an adult. Bush grins in his painting smock and we laugh. An art exhibit is the benign cherry on his lifetime sundae of fail. Some in the media even wonder if art is therapy for him. Is Bush haunted by what he has done?

I believe Bush paints because Bush can do anything. Every American dream, Bush got—an Ivy League education, running his own sports team, even the presidency. When each dream ended in failure, he grinned and moved on. Bush’s paintings are one more way of turning away from the past, just as he ignored the trail of blood Zaidi left as guards dragged him from the room.

Molly Crabapple for Politico, “George Bush’s Paintings Aren’t Funny”: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/04/george-bushs-paintings-arent-funny-105664.html#.U0y6PeZdVpc

Der Spiegel

There’s a feature on Molly in this week’s Der Spiegel by Mathieu von Rohr.  It’s solely available in German at the moment, but there’s a very nice quote from Salman Rushdie that says “Molly is an old-style bohemian with very contemporary political sensibilities. I’m very attracted by the fluidity and versatility of her line, and by her images’ mixture of sexiness, satire, and real anger about the state of things.”

New Orleans wheat paste installation

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Melissa here! I was recently in New Orleans, and had the unique opportunity to do an installation for Molly Crabapple. We wanted to find local spaces that would be interested in allowing us to wheat paste art onto their buildings, with her focus on illustrating local performers. The whole project would be a celebration of New Orleans culture. She received permission from Nicky da B and Katey Red, two legendary rappers in NOLA, to use their likenesses.

We ended up wheat pasting onto the Allways Lounge, located on St. Claude and Marigny Sts at the Bywater/Marigny border. The Allways Lounge is a gorgeous, cabaret-style venue that features amazing burlesque acts, live bands and has been a strong supporter of the weird and wonderful performers in NOLA. We were thrilled to work with them!

On one windy evening just after Mardi Gras, friend and talented local artist Reina, and I went and put up a number of prints. The following were taken by the wonderful photographer Melisa CardonaAlways Art_HR (7 of 92)

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We had the images printed up at a local copy shop, then proceeded to cut out each image by hand, keeping the outlines fairly loose to match Molly’s style.

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All done! The whole process took us only a few hours. Come morning, Melisa came back around & took photos of the whole building in the light.Always Art_HR (73 of 92) Always Art_HR (84 of 92) Always Art_HR (87 of 92) Always Art_HR (88 of 92) Always Art_HR (91 of 92)

 

And the original images:

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Rapper, Nicky Da B

katyred

Rapper, Katey Red

Babydoll

Inspired by New Orleans Baby Doll Ladies

dancer-right

Bounce Dancer

Newsweek: Jihad Tourists

Jihad is the best tourism,” a young Dutchman who calls himself Chechclear posted on his Tumblr. He was riding a camel, grinning, his face filtered into an Instagram haze. Chechclear is one of an estimated 1,700 Europeans fighting in Syria. He’s part of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which Al-Qaeda has just officially disowned, and seems to be having the time of his life. He documents his adventure for adoring fans across several social media platforms.
This is the reality of modern jihad, where the faithful chronicle their response to the cause in real time. But if Europeans like Chechclear are living out their Call of Duty fantasies, they do it at the expense of Syrian lives. In the territory it holds in Syria’s North, ISIS is imposing its harsh interpretation of sharia law with torture and beheadings. Its Western fighters are tweeting selfies in the ruins.

Animal New York: “A Brief Encounter with Pussy Riot”

 

The VOICE fundraiser was quintessentially New York. $300 a ticket, guests packed bone to bone in the Spotted Pig, champagne and epic sliders. A bartender trying to pick up girls by saying they looked Russian. Music industry execs, bouncers, and a VIP section open only to Marina Abramović, or those who could pay $1000 to get in. It was that whole siphon-money-out-of-rich-people dance that all effective activist organizations do, but not very punk rock.

Nadya and Masha were in this world but not of it.

“A Brief Encounter with Post Pussy Riot Nadya and Masha” Animal New Yorkby Molly Crabapple

Jan 31st – Café Society at India House

Teamrockstar Road Trip - Lemonaid Lookbook
Friday, January 31, 2014
India House — the Hanover Room
1 Hanover Square
New York, NY 10004
7 pm, doors at 6 pm

Hosted by India House Club member Lauren Cerand with special guests Molly Crabapple, Chris Abani, Filip Noterdaeme, and Daniel Isengart.

Reservations are essential, by phone only: (212) 269-2323 x26. Press 9 before extension.

Admission is one book, new or used, for the club’s library-in-progress.

Jackets are requested for men. No denim. Cash bar. Members of India House receive guaranteed admission and reserved seating.

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Rhizome & Creative Time Reports: The Glass Gaze

Because most women have spent most of history pregnant, nursing, burying miscarriages, and/or taking care of wealthier women’s kids, most “great” Western artists have been men. The male gaze is all mixed up with the gaze of an artist. When women started making art en masse, we were thought to see differently. Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party, which reduced 39 oft perverse and argumentative geniuses to vagina-shaped plates, feels more trivializing than any odalisque. The odalisque had some style to her. The Dinner Party guests, bound together in a sisterhood imposed in retrospect, became as interchangeable as Spice Girls.

-Google Glass, the Corporate Gaze and Mine.  Creative Time Reports

All The Things in 2013

I turned 30 in 2013. Here’s a picture from that night

2013 was hard and fucked and fraught for personal reasons, and so I worked. Every year seems like one where you work to sublimate the noise in your head, but this one more than others.

perfer et obdura, 2013. Perfer et obdura

Here are things that I did, but really, what made it what it was were those 4ams with whiskey and those who loved me.

Friends are always where one is most lucky, and art is the excrement of action.

Here are things I made

+ Had my first real gallery show, Shell Game. Did 9 gigantic paintings on the revolutions of 2011. Had everyone I loved there for the opening and bathed in a bathtub of money like a louche horror while Kim Boekbinder sang me songs. No New York gallery has ever wanted to give me a show or had any faith in me. But you guys did. Thank you. Here’s the whole show released Creative Commons

+ I’m working on a book called Drawing Blood for Harper Collins. 13.7k brutal deathslog words in

+ I only started writing last October, cause I wanted to scream about my arrest. In the last year I’ve published 24 essays, on topics from abortion to Banksy, money to Frida.

+ Visited Guantanamo Bay twice, and wrote about the prison lots, angering the Department of Defense and getting shortlisted for the Frontline Award for Print Journalism.  Banned from drawing guards’ faces, I replaced them with smilies.

 +After eight years of illegal flashmobs and lavish art parties, every other weekend, we closed Dr. Sketchy’s in New York. It lives on in 140 other cities, from Cape Town to Paris, Lima to Shanghai. For our very last night, Jo Boobs dressed as death, but sparkly

 

+ interviewed snipers and refugees for the New York Times

+ Learned I had a 3,000 page FBI file. The FBI still has not told me what is in it

 +Made as many free political posters as I could

 + Spoke at lots of places, including the London School of Economics and Harvard

 + the Museum of Modern Art bought one of my prints, as part of an Occupy collection. It feels sort of like a butterfly pinned to the wall, but never expected to be in MoMA.

 + Illustrated The Divide, for Matt Taibbi, one of my favorite journalists

 + Did the artwork for Patton Oswalt’s latest CD 

+ Interviewed Warren Ellis for The Paris Review, thus rendering the whole joint terribly low-class on both of our accounts

 + Travelled to London (x3), Mexico City, Guantanamo Bay (x2), Havana, Beirut, Portland, Boston, Los Angeles, New Orleans. Danced in the rain while a jazz band played on Frenchman, in the red light of Radio Beirut, walked with a thousand jeweled skeletons and bribed a band to play La Bruja over and over and over in Zona Rosa.

 + Was on the teevee a bit

 + Creative Time and Rhizome commissioned me to do Glass Gaze, where I streamed drawing Stoya directly through my eyes. Had the added benefit of letting me see much-missed Stoya’s face

 gifs by Brainwomb

Medium: Syria’s Queer Refugees

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Until the gunmen came, Michel was having the party of his life.

Michel, 32, was once a gay celebrity. A DJ and underground party promoter from Damascus, for eight years, Michel spun for drag queens and diplomats, Gulf millionaires, military men, tour groups and even a cross-dressing relative of Assad. Homosexuality is illegal in Syria, but Michel paid off the police. While security services sometimes interrogated him about about his foreign guests, he was never beaten. His parties were legend.

On December 4th of last year, Michel threw a costume ball in a villa outside Damascus. Michel described the pools and gardens, the dancing. “It was the best party ever. Everyone was peaceful… happy.”

At 4AM, the gunmen came.

“Syria’s Queer Refugees” by Molly Crabapple.  Medium

New York Times: Syria’s Spreading Bloodshed

At least 110,000 people have died in Syria’s civil war. Here, as anywhere, fighters are glorified in death. Abdulqader Saleh was the commander of the Al Tawhid Brigade, which led the rebel victory in Aleppo … Saleh died in a hospital days before I arrived in Tripoli; his martyrdom photo was posted to Twitter.

These images are framed like Instagram selfies, but corpses have no selves — the dead exist as projections by the living. See how beautiful they are, these photos say. Be righteous like them.

Syria’s Spreading Bloodshed in The New York Times