Organized by PEN American Center and the National Coalition Against Censorship, the panel discussion “After Charlie: What’s Next for Art, Satire and Censorship,” illustrated some of the problems inherent in offering a civilized response to an utterly uncivilized act …
Cartooning is particularly “inflammatory,” said comics artist and illustrator Crabapple, because “it is visceral and irritates authoritarian assholes.” But she also noted that it’s easy for cartooning to be “taken out of context,” stripped of ironic intent and nuance, and used to provoke and offend. Indeed, she suggested, in the age of social media, where images are regularly recontextualized and recirculated, the ability to demonize an image, and its creator, will likely worsen.
Molly Crabapple is a pseudonym but it’s somehow fitting for the artist who learnt to draw a proper nose aged only four. She has a permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, but remarkably Crabapple is self-taught. Her trajectory into the world of illustration was unconventional: having dropped out of FIT (New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology) she launched her own leftfield drawing school in 2005 at the tender age 22. When she founded Dr Sketchy Art School Anti-Art School, she entered into a world of burlesque dancers, drag queens and underground performers. However, this was a familiar world to Crabapple. At 19 she started working as a life model, and that was in fact when Molly Crabapple first adopted her alias.
“When I go on TV, Twitter digs up old photos of me at parties and asks the producers why they have such a bimbo on air,” says Crabapple. “But the thing about proving things? Your jaggedness just goads you on – it makes you sharper and harder. It gives you swagger.” And boy, does she have swagger.
The massacre at Charlie Hebdo brought urgent questions about censorship, satire, offense and artistic responsibility to the forefront. In response to this, a panel of cartoonists will discuss the future of satire, censorship and self-censorship, as well as the unique power of images especially when married to language.
This panel will feature Art Spiegelman, best known for his graphic novel Maus, cartoonist and journalist Molly Crabapple, editor and New Yorker Art Director Francoise Mouly, and Emmanuel Letouzé, socio-political cartoonist. These acclaimed graphic artists will help us examine the current landscape of cartoon and satire and what the attack at Charlie Hebdo means for the future of these essential components of our culture.
Hosted by PEN American Center, the National Coalition Against Censorship, and The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF).
Thursday, February 19, 2015
FIAF, Florence Gould Hall
55 East 59th Street
New York, NY 10022
Tickets are $10 for PEN/FIAF members, $15 for the public. Click here for more details.
Molly recently spoke with Longform. Stream or download the podcast here.
Last summer, a New York city police officer choked a black grandfather named Eric Garner to death. Garner was suspected of selling loose cigarettes. The arrests of people like Garner are part of a controversial policing tactic called Broken Windows. Broken Windows claims to prevent large crimes by cracking down on small ones. But it’s really about controlling and punishing communities of color, through police encounters that can sometimes be deadly.
Written, illustrated and narrated by Molly Crabapple
Directed by Jim Batt
Sound Design by Kim Boekbinder
Shot by Keith Jenson
“In America, where the fetish for foreign dissidents runs deep, Ganzeer could have dined out for years on his revolutionary cred, making do-gooders feel brave by proxy just for buying his paintings. But it was a role he rejected as Orientalism; he was sick of how the Western press reduced him to nothing but an avatar for the Egyptian Revolution and ignored his critique of their own countries.
“When you see injustice somewhere you want to call bullshit on it,” he told me. “There’s just so much injustice in the United States.”
“The Revolutionary, No Bullshit Art of Ganzeer”- Molly Crabapple. VICE
Hosted by PEN American Center and the ACLU. Artists, authors, and activists unite to read passages from Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s diary — the only diary by a still-imprisoned Guantanamo detainee to be released (Little, Brown & Company, January 20, 2015). Followed by a conversation with Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s attorney, Nancy Hollander, and editor Larry Siems, moderated by Philip Gourevitch.
Monday, January 26th @ 7pm
45 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10012
General admission is $15, $10 for PEN & ACLU members, seniors, and students. Purchase tickets here.
Molly Crabapple illustrated the cover for this month’s New Internationalist.
Inside this issue: Icelandic activist and founder of the Pirate Party, Birgitta Jonsdottir, guest edits an issue on the theme of ‘democracy in the digital era’. It tackles some of the thorniest issues of the day: privacy, censorship, mass surveillance, media freedom. But it goes several steps further than most media reports by presenting powerful and practical ways in which we can create a deeper and more meaningful democracy and a richer more rebellious political engagement, using the tools of the internet age.
Molly is featured in the second issue of The Great Discontent, which “offers a candid glimpse into the lives of those who create for a living.”
Preorder here. Orders begin shipping the week of January 26th.
The artists of Charlie Hebdo join a long and tragic tradition. Mocking pen strokes send authoritarians into paroxysm of rage. Governments and extremist groups around the world target cartoonists for arrest, beatings and execution. Bullies can never take a joke.
New York State’s Human Trafficking Intervention Courts (HTICs) are the first of their kind in the nation. Launched with great fanfare in September 2013, these courts redefined prostitutes as trafficking victims rather than criminals.
“Human trafficking is… a form of modern-day slavery that we simply cannot tolerate in a civilized society,” Judge Jonathan Lippman, the court’s creator, said at a press conference announcing the formation of the special courts. “We now recognize that the vast majority of individuals charged with prostitution offenses are commercially exploited or at risk of exploitation. By offering vital services instead of punishment to these defendants, the Human Trafficking Intervention Initiative will act to transform and save lives—and, in turn, enable law enforcement to identify, investigate, and punish the traffickers.”
Despite the claims of reformers like Judge Lippman, HTICs are as controlling as any other court. Prostitutes might be called victims, but they’re still arrested, still handcuffed, and still held in cages. The only difference is that they’re now in a system that doesn’t distinguish between workers and trafficked people. To the courts, anyone who’s been arrested for sex work is raw material, incapable of making his or her own choices. Those like Love, who did sex work out of financial necessity, before leaving of her own volition, might as well not exist.
The Bertha Justice Institute at the Center for Constitutional Rights is proud to present a special Freedom Flicks program on Wednesday, January 14th in partnership with the Brooklyn Public Library using art and film to bring you rarely told, human stories of Guantánamo prison.
The night will begin with a private reception/gallery exhibit featuring artworks by artist and writer Molly Crabapple, photographer Debi Cornwall and former Guantánamo detainee and CCR client Djamel Ameziane. Following the exhibit we will screen the original short film “Waiting for Fahd”, which tells the heartrending story of CCR client Fahd Ghazy, a Yemeni national unlawfully detained at 17. Now 30, Fahd continues to languish in Guantánamo without charge or trial.
After the screening, CCR Staff Attorney Omar Farah will be joined by Molly Crabapple and Debi Cornwall to discuss the role of art, law, and storytelling in challenging dominant narratives of Guantánamo and surfacing the human impact of indefinite detention.
Seating is limited. Register here to reserve your free ticket.
Wednesday, January 14th
6:30pm – 8:45pm
Brooklyn Public Library
10 Grand Army Plaza
Doors open at 6:30pm for the private reception/gallery exhibit. Light refreshments will be provided. Screening starts at 7:15pm sharp.
Molly Crabapple will not be silenced. The New York artist has come a long way from nude modeling and doodling, asserting herself as an important political voice, pen and brush of the art world. Whether she’s on the Islamic front in Syria sketching, writing an article for VICE, or working on her forthcoming illustrated memoir, Drawing Blood (out in 2015 published by Harper Collins), Crabapple is a force to be reckoned with.
— by Lori Zimmer with photos by Jonathan Grassi, for Creem Magazine
This week we talk with Molly Crabapple, an artist and writer who has worked in Guantanamo Bay, Abu Dhabi’s migrant labor camps, and with rebels in Syria. Crabapple is a columnist for VICE, and has written for publications including The New York Times, Paris Review, and Vanity Fair. We talk about art, journalism and the tensions that can exist when your work traverses the boundaries between the two. Molly also shares some advice for those who hope for a career in art. Shownotes available at sourcesandmethods.com.
Stream or download the mp3 here.
On Wednesday, Chelsea Manning – heroine, whistleblower and inmate – turns 27. She has been behind bars for four years and eight months, ever since her arrest for leaking classified US documents. There isn’t much prospect that she will be released any time soon … It is against this gloomy and unpropitious backdrop that leading writers, artists and public figures from around the world are today sending Chelsea birthday greetings. Their contributions include letters, poems, drawings and original paintings. Some are philosophical – yes, that’s you, Slavoj Žižek – others brief messages of goodwill. A few are movingly confessional.
All send a powerful reminder: that for millions in the US and beyond, Chelsea Manning is an inspiring moral figure who deserves our continued support.
Limited edition of 250, 13″ x 19″ prints of Baby Doll are now available at Braddock Tiles.
TEMPLE OF ART
EXHIBITION & BOOK LAUNCH
December 5 – 28, 2014
Artist reception: Friday, December 5th; 8-11PM
Since early 2012, Allan Amato has been photographing fine artists and inviting them to interpret those portraits through their particular medium. An artist’s work can act as both bridge and barrier; at once deeply personal and highly distorted; the lens through which we present our perception of the world, and the world that in turn interprets us.
As a full-time photographer, Amato engages in a daily meditation on art as a spiritual and alchemical practice; that nevertheless demands relentless hustle and a pathological immunity to rejection. During the shoots he found myself asking the artists about their processes and motivations, and drawing comparisons with my own approach to photography and portraiture. But how best to surround and consummate the conversations, the artists and the Work?
The TEMPLE OF ART is a collection of those collaborative art works and musings that provides an insightful look into the lives of some of our favorite working artists. A documentary project evolved from this project as well, which follows the progress of the collaborations from conception to completion, alongside interviews with the artists themselves. The Temple of Art panel at this year’s Comic Con was one of the most covered by global genre press, and the opening at La Luz de Jesus Gallery will be the final footage to complete the film–featuring a live, spoken word performance by Grant Morrison. Many of the featured artists will be present together to talk about what informs, inspires, and motivates them, and how they’ve hacked a life that is both sustained and intensified by making art. The Baby Tattoo book launch will happen mid-exhibition.
La Luz de Jesus Gallery
4633 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA. 90027
Portrait in the Twenty-First Century
November 29, 2014 – January 17, 2015
54 Franklin Street
New York, NY 10013
Presented by Postmasters and featuring artwork by Molly Crabapple, Kristin Lucas, Katarzyna Kozyra, Sally Smart, Shamus Clisset, Austin Lee, Anton Perich, and Ryder Ripps. More info here.