Americans see bogeymen in orange jumpsuits—not men with PTSD, favorite soccer teams and back problems; families and dreams; loves and legitimate hates.
For a journalist, trying to piece together the life of a Guantanamo detainee involves staring into the bureaucratic unknown. You have JTF-GTMO assessments, filled with feverish claims and torture-induced accusations.
…I think that when a lot of journalists go down to Guantanamo – and everyone that I was with was an amazing journalist. They’re much more traditional journalists and they write about the details of the trial. They do investigative stuff about, like, who’s hunger-striking. They speak to the lawyers. They speak to the Guantanamo spokespeople. But they don’t really write about what the experience of covering it is like. And I felt like that could be my contribution, that I wasn’t taking myself out of it like a traditional journalist would, but rather I was trying to bring the reader there with me so that the reader would understand what it felt like to be in Guantanamo.
Somewhere, on an NSA server in Utah, there sits an email from Warren Ellis threatening to strangle me to death with my own intestines.
Free Barrett Brown and the Jeremy Hammond Defense Committee are collaborating to produce a night to jointly raise funds for the legal expenses of these two prominent internet activists. All proceeds will be split evenly between the two and will directly benefit barrett’s legal team and jeremy’s jail support fund.
This is a fundraiser event and variety show with notable speakers, musical performances, and the auctioning of items. Barrett Brown and Jeremy Hammond, whose cases are connected, are known for exposing the illegal private spying done by Stratfor, and for their association with Anonymous. Barrett faces up to 105 years in prison and is awaiting trial, while Jeremy faces up to 10 years after taking a non-cooperating plea agreement.
I’m donating two prints for the event, portraits of Barrett and Jeremy. If you’re in NYC and can attend, please come out.
- When: Monday, August 19th 2013 – 6PM to 11PM.
- Where: ThoughtWorks NYC – 99 Madison Avenue, 15th Floor.
- Max capacity : 80 people. Admission : $20 minimum.
Molly Crabapple got kicked out of school and learned to draw in Paris. She gave Occupy Wall Street artistic expression with the political paintings in her show “Shell Game” — Matt Taibbi called her “Occupy’s greatest artist”— and she was the third artist to ever visit Guantánamo Bay, where she’ll return at the end of August. Crabapple has also written for Vice about everything from anti-social behavior to her abortion. Now she’s signed a book deal with Harper Collins to write and illustrate a memoir, Drawing Blood, to be published in 2015.
“Manning will be in prison for the rest of his life. But the old world has not won. The leaks will never end. Snowden was inspired by Manning. Someone else will be inspired by Snowden. Each whistleblower learns from the last.”
“As one of the most visible artists in a world marked by protest, Crabapple is best known for her style evocative of a time of burlesque, of Toulouse Lautrec, of whimsy.”
I joined Citizen Radio to discuss my trips to Guantanamo, the Bradley Manning trial, and why art snobs are hating on Jay Z and other popular artists.
You can listen to the full show on their site here: http://wearecitizenradio.com/2013/08/07/20130807-molly-crabapple-on-gitmo-bradley-manning-and-art-snobs-hating-on-jay-z/
I did a segment on Huffington Post Live discussing my trip to Gitmo and my writings about the trip for Vice.
I have two new articles out:
It Don’t Gitmo Better Than This: My longread for Vice magazine is now live.
Camp X-Ray has been abandoned for over a decade. Birds nest on the razor wire. Vines have overtaken the cages. With the breeze and butterflies, one could think it is just a still-standing reminder of a shameful past. For the current prisoners who passed through X-Ray, it is still part of their reality. They may have left, but they are not free.
You can read in full about my trip to Guantanamo Bay in their print magazine and online at Vice.com
The Bradley Manning Truth Brigade: In Ft. Meade, VA, I have been sitting in the court room for Bradley Manning’s trial, drawing and writing to cover the verdict.
The most important whistleblower of the century stood accused of treason. But the trial’s environs had none of the grandeur of Manning’s revelations. Fort Meade, Maryland, home of the NSA and other defense agencies, is an unlovely suburb with vinyl siding, twee lampposts and trivia night at the bowling lanes. The military court only holds about 50, with overflow trailers for the public and the press. Misdemeanor court has more mystique.
Only the guards hinted that the proceedings were special. They carried enough ammo to turn every Manning supporter present into a fine red mist.
You can read about the many, many supporters I’ve met in my time down here online at Creativetimereports.org
I’m pleased to announce that I just signed a deal with Harper Collins for an illustrated memoir, Drawing Blood. It will cover my start as a model, fire eater and portraitist to my new work chronicling of protest movements.
You can read more at Animal New York.
Photographer Eden Nova has been an important part of the Shell Game show, shooting the load in and load out at Smart Clothes gallery and all the inbetweens. She recently sent me this collection of gorgeous photos from the show.
I’m happy to announce that I participated in a second RSA animated short. It’s entitled “How to find your element” and is about how finding one’s passion and true purpose in life is essential to human flourishing.
Based on the words of Sir Ken Robinson, he narrates, I illustrated, Keith Jenson filmed, and the always amazing Jim Batt brought it all together with his animation talents.
Happy birthday, Lady Liberty!
I am currently in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, drawing for VICE.
I’m covering the pretrial hearings of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, which you can read the first installment of.
And traveled to Camp X-ray, the temporary prison that held the first prisoners while Gitmo’s permanent facilities were being constructed after 9/11. The article is also up now.
I’ll be in GTMO for the rest of the week. You can follow along on Twitter: @mollycrabapple
Have you been waiting to see I Have Your Heart on the big screen? Now’s your chance! Catch the New York premiere at the Lower East Side Film Festival, Monday, June 17th.
Directed by Jim Batt
The story of a good girl with a bad heart, and the boy whose death will save her life.
Told through darkly whimsical stopmotion, the film is a tale about love, loss, and open‐heart surgery.
L.E.S* Film Festival
June 17th (Animation Night) 8-10 pm
32 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10003
June 19th (Twisted Love Night) 7:00 pm
New York, NY 10002
Artists too have their myths. The lies told to artists mirror the lies told to women. Be good enough, be pretty enough, and that guy or gallery will sweep you off your feet, to the picket-fenced land of generous collectors and two-and-a-half kids. But, make the first move, seize your destiny, and you’re a whore. - “Filthy Lucre”, my latest for VICE, on money and meritocracy
Loyalty is life and death for soldiers. But like courage, it’s a morally neutral virtue. Its morality depends on how you view the cause it serves. Like any whistleblower, Manning may have betrayed his institution, but he did so out of loyalty to humanity.
I’m reviving my mailing list with a shiny new redesign and starting to update it with exclusive content on my latest projects, discounts for the store and more. You can sign up via this link:
Signing up will also get you 10% off any order in my store.
Adding to the celebration, I’m also releasing a limited edition t-shirt based on my “Fuck You” print.
The shirts are available in men’s and women’s sizes, printed in Brooklyn in water-based silkscreen inks on 100% cotton Tultex tees. The pre-order will run until June 15th, after which I’ll send the orders to print, sign and number each shirt in the batch and then these will be the only ones in existence!
Talking about Anonymous and Occupy like an uber-caffeinated New Yorker, on network TV. Click to view on Hulu.com
New York Communities for Change is one of the most badass organizations in New York. These guys unionize fast food workers, fight stop-and-frisk, did serious relief work during Hurricane Sandy, and are the essence of solidarity not charity. Honored to be a supporter.
I’ll be drinking at their event. If you sign up as a $40/month donor, you get this exclusive signed print of New York Communities for Change member Pamela Flood, one of the organizers of the fast food workers’ strike.
Friends of New York Communities for Change
Fundraiser and Kickoff Party
Friday, May 17th, 6:30-8:30pm
Two Moon Art House and Cafe
315 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
Love the work New York Communities for Change members are doing in the fight for worker justice, affordable housing, and public schools? Come join us to celebrate this work and to find out how you can make sure that work gets bigger and better at our Friends of NYCC Kickoff and Fundraiser!
Join us for drinks, mingling, laughs, and a retrospective of NYCC’s work and what’s in store for the rest of 2013.
Find out how to become a Friend of NYCC, and how you can get a print of Molly Crabapple’s portrait of Fast Food worker and activist Pamela Flood!
For more info, contact Greg Basta (email@example.com) or Gina Bull (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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.
My first major solo show, SHELL GAME, closed last Tuesday.
Shell Game was covered by the New Republic, Rolling Stone, Fast Company, Wired, Reuters, the American Reader and many more. The openings were attended by hundreds of people –– many of whom, through their support of Shell Game’s kickstarter, made this whole project possible.
I’m starting to think about my next project, which will explore ideas of explicitly digital culture and privacy. I may even work with an institution or cultural organization to bring it to life on the largest scale possible.
Without the support of hundreds of people online, Shell Game would never have happened. The internet believed in me, believed in the promise of my art, and showed that in concrete ways.
The internet gave me Shell Game.
I want to give them something back.
Today is May Day. The day of workers, immigrants, beautiful young girls, and rebellion. I’m releasing all the art from SHELL GAME on Creative Commons. Share. Remix. Make art. Wheatpaste the world.
Click each image to see it in high resolution. Non-commercial use only and attribution is mandatory (see CreativeCommons below).
Shell Game by Molly Crabapple is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://mollycrabapple.com/2013/05/01/shell-game-hi-res/.
Blick Art Supply has been a long time sponsor for my work. They provided their signature markers in 2011 so I could cover the yards and yards of wall in Week in Hell and recently they provided materials for the creation of the Shell Game Paintings.
I’m so, so grateful for their support!
Here are some tools I used to make Shell Game:
Princeton Short Handle Umbria Liner Brushes
Silver Brush Silverwhite Synthetic Long Handle Angular
Speedball Standard Pen Holders
Manga Nibs and Holder Set
Golden Acrylic Gesso
Golden Acrylic Medium
Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens (fineliner)
Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens (manga)
Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens (wallet)