PEN Ten Interview & upcoming auction

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This week, the PEN Ten, PEN America’s biweekly interview series curated by Lauren Cerand talks with Molly Crabapple:

What is the responsibility of the writer? The artist? Is it the same?

Be honest and brave and try to make the world a bit more beautiful, which is in no way the same as making it more pretty (though that is also nice). But these are really human responsibilitie

- See more at: http://www.pen.org/interview/pen-ten-molly-crabapple#sthash.sbhSIIPT.dpuf

 

Photograph © Beowulf Sheehan/PEN American Center

Additionally, the five giant paintings Molly created live at PENfest 2011 are currently at auction to benefit the PEN America residence in Thomassin, Haiti. This early series covers the themes of labor, war, truth, money and revolution. Check them out and bid to own these gorgeous, one of a kind paintings: http://paddle8.com/auctions/pen

Photograph © Beowulf Sheehan/PEN American Center

Talking Points Memo – Istanbul: Before the Tear Gas

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On April 18th, I interviewed a Syrian refugee in Istanbul. One year short of getting an advanced degree when arrest attempts forced him to flee Aleppo, the refugee spoke English with a measured intensity. Turkey had opened its borders, he said. Though he is atheist, Turks treated him like a brother, based on what they assumed was a shared Muslim identity. “We believe that if the [Turkish] opposition wins an election they’ll throw us into the sea.” the refugee told me. “The AKP is authoritarian. They should lose. But it’s in my personal interest that they win.” Understandably, the refugee asked me not to reveal his name. In February, Turkey deported an Azerbaijani journalist in revenge for his criticizing the government.

-Talking Points Memo – Istanbul: Before the Tear Gas by Molly Crabapple

Earlier this month, Molly Crabapple flew to Istanbul to interview a variety of activists, journalists, dissidents and footbal fans to report on the post-Gezi culture of street protest before today’s planned May Day protests. The article is a long form report, including several illustrations from her travels.

4/26: Theorizing the Web conference

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On Saturday, April 26th, Molly Crabapple will be speaking on “Tweeting From Amongst the Corpses”, a discussion about Jihadists in Syria and their use of social media. This is part of an hour-long panel on “Sex and the Selfie”. Her fellow panelists include Anne Burns, Ofer Nur, Apryl Williams and is presided by Rotem Rozental. The panel runs from 11:30am-12:45pm.

Theorizing the Web is an inter- and non-disciplinary annual conference that brings together scholars, journalists, artists, activists, and commentators to ask big questions about the interrelationships between the Web and society.

The conference is open to the public and attendance fees are by donation. You must register at http://theorizingtheweb.tumblr.com

April 26th, 2014
Windmill Studios
287 Kent Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
11:30am-12:45pm

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

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Rapper, Katey Red

Babydoll

Inspired by New Orleans Baby Doll Ladies

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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

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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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