“On April 28, 2010, in the Restricted Housing Unit of Pennsylvania’s State Correctional Institution at Dallas, Carrington Keys heard his friend Isaac Sanchez scream. Like Sanchez, Keys had spent years locked in the “hole.” It had been years since he’d hugged his mom. Years confined to a filthy box, drinking rust-brown water, enduring beatings by guards. Years beneath a fluorescent light that never went off, freezing in winter, smothering in summer’s heat, the sole window to a bare hallway covered with Plexiglas. Years in which each day dragged the same as the last, their monotony punctuated only by explosions of violence.”
–Molly Crabapple, What Happens When Inmates in Solitary Confinement Blow the Whistle on Their Abuse? October 5, 2015
These are new illustrations Molly has produced to accompany the article “In The Court of Purity”, published in the most recent issue of the Index on Censorship. For the full article and more pick up a copy of the magazine online on itunes, amazon, or google play, or at your local retailer.
From the article:
One day in 1934, a middle aged man woke up from a terrible nightmare in the crimson-coloured bedroom of an old Istanbul mansion. For what felt like an interminable length of time he dreamt about a dark court of law that was filled with dozens of prisoners who looked at him with an
expression of sad desperation in their coal-black eyes. In the dream, he was a Great Judge to whom was given the power to kill or save those sickly men. Prisoners were placed inside large metal cages at the centre of the court room. He could see their long, untrimmed beards and yellow
faces; their claw-like hands reached out from the cages and their wet palms were visible from the podium where he sat. Their voices, in contrast, was incomprehensible to him —just a murmur filling the room and spiralling out from the cage, spelling out a message that was inaudible but no doubt addressed to him. From behind the group of prisoners he discerned a figure who eyed him with an intensity that sent shivers down his spine. Dressed in a blinding bright red uniform, this man moved his hands self-assuredly and was certainly a man of previous, recently lost authority. He looked at this glowing prisoner in awe and fear and felt, on his shoulders, the responsibility of deciding his fate — whether he should be saved or perish was entirely left to him. But before he could say or do anything, guards appeared in four corners of the court room. They approached the cage, entered it, brought the red coloured prisoner out, placed a piece of cloth around his head and took him away.
Molly was interviewed this week by PBS Newshour regarding her work with Marwan Hisham in Syria.
People live lives, even in war zones. Sometimes, when we just see photos of atrocity, we forget that these are humans in that atrocity, who scam and love and watch satellite TV and buy vegetables at the market and love their kids. Me and Marwan tried to show daily life, real life, of which war was a part but not the whole.
–Molly, Illustrator Documents Syrian Life Under ISIL Rule, September 24th 2015
If you happen to be in NYC this weekend, consider joining us to celebrate the opening of Power, Protest, and Resistance: The Art of Revolution at the Skylight Gallery. The originals of Molly’s ‘Can You See the New World Through The Teargas’ and ‘We Will Vote’ will be on view for the first time ever.
Opening Reception: Saturday, Sept 25 6-8pm
Bed Stuy Restoration Corp.
1368 Fulton St. 3rd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11216
Curated by Che Baraka. Show will be on view until Nov. 8th 2015. See images below for more information.
In the first of a series of posts leading up to the release of Molly’s upcoming memoir, Drawing Blood, we’d like to share with you an image from the book with some of the accompanying text:
We walked through the frozen streets to the Oum Kalsoum Cafe. Over hookahs and sticky sahleb, we decided to catch a bus to the south of France. On a cold Parisian night, whimsy can pass for magic. We found a town too small to have ATMs. The sole hotel had decorated its reception room with butterflies in glass boxes. Above one, the proprietor had written,
“I am sorry. I used to do this but no longer. You’re more beautiful when you are living.”*
–Drawing Blood (Chapter 4) by Molly Crabapple
Butterflies is available in the shop as a 8.5 x 22 giclee print for a limited time.
Drawing Blood will be out December 1st 2015. You can pre-order your copy now through our new Book Page.
*Je suis désolé, Je ne fais plus ça. Vous êtes plus belle lorsque vous êtes en vie
“Old Hebron is honey-stoned and blue-doored—the sort of charming Mediterranean labyrinth that, in another universe, would be full of obnoxious tour groups. But thanks to the occupation, it’s scarred by gates, concrete barriers, barbed wire, and checkpoints. A souk where gold was once sold lies empty, the doors of its many shops welded shut by the IDF, its merchandise still inside.”
“The Oppresive Architecture of the West Bank” – Molly Crabapple. VICE
Yesterday, the widely read Italian newspaper, La Lettura, republished an open letter Molly had written to Lena Dunham, in response to her signing of a petition against Amnesty Internationals recommendations to decriminalize sex work.
As a benefit and tribute to the late comic book writer/photographer Seth Kushner, a set of 13 collectors’ cards have been published to benefit Seth’s wife and son. Each card features one of his portraits of top New York City creators like Molly, Neil Gaiman, Art Spiegelman, Scott McCloud, and Chris Ware. The cards retail for $15 a pack, and $25 for a pack with a single creator signature.
“The Syrian air force has a habit of following their first barrel bomb with a second. People say this is to kill first responders. (The government still denies that it uses barrel bombs.)
Despite this, the crowd did not run away. They dug in the rubble with their bare hands—old men, Civil Defense volunteers, and militants alike—all except the media activists shooting video. When they found a victim, they gathered to help snatch them out, screaming “Allahu Akbar” as they did. Once they laid the victim in an ambulance, they began to dig again.”
“Scenes from Inside Aleppo: How Life Has Been Transformed by Rebel Rule” – written by Marwan Hisham, illustrated by Molly Crabapple. Vanity Fair
The elaborate mythology of racial difference created to sustain American slavery persists today. Slavery did not end in 1865, it evolved. #SlaveryEvolved
The legacy of slavery can be seen in the presumption of guilt and dangerousness assigned to African Americans, especially young men and boys, the racial profiling and mistreatment that presumption creates, and the racial dynamics of mass incarceration.
EJI’s Race and Poverty project explores racial history and attempts to deepen our understanding of the legacy of racial injustice. By telling the truth about our past, EJI believes we can create a different, healthier discourse about race in America.
More information here: http://www.eji.org/raceandpoverty
“Nearly a year after the end of Protective Edge, little has changed in Shujaiya. A few houses have been patched up, but many more are nothing but rubble. Piles of prescriptions fluttered in front of the destroyed Ministry of Health. Everywhere homes lay collapsed like ruined layer cakes, the fillings composed of the flotsam of daily life: blankets, cooking pots, Qu’rans, cars. In one pile of dust I saw a child’s notebook, abandoned. “My uncle collects honey,” the nameless child had written on the first page.”
“Shujaiya Dust: Gaza Is Still In Ruins a Year After the War” – Molly Crabapple. VICE
Show Me The Money: The Image of Finance, 1700 to the Present
The latest film from the AHRC looks at ‘Show Me The Money’ – a new exhibition which charts how the financial world has been imagined in art, illustration, photography and other visual media over the last three centuries in Britain and the United States.
This exhibition asks what does ‘the market’ look like? What does money really stand for? How can the abstractions of high finance be made visible? The project asks how artists have grappled with the increasingly intangible nature of money and finance, from the South Sea Bubble of the eighteenth century to the global financial crisis of 2008.
This AHRC film guides us through the exhibition featuring works ranging from satirical eighteenth-century prints by William Hogarth to newly commissioned works by artists Cornford & Cross, and James O Jenkins, as well as the first UK exhibition of international artist such Molly Crabapple.
The exhibition includes an array of media: paintings, prints, photographs, videos, artefacts, and instruments of financial exchange both ‘real’ and imagined. Indeed the exhibition also charts the development of an array of financial visualisations, including stock tickers and charts, newspaper illustrations, bank adverts, and electronic trading systems.
To find out more about Show Me The Money please visit the www.imageoffinance.com, website for information, interactive games, and more.
“Politicians love to bray that ‘illegal aliens’ are bleeding America. But the real leeches are the private prison companies who rake in billions in taxpayer money to ruin immigrants’ lives — including those with the legal papers to live and work in the US.”
Called an art movement “in and of herself”, Crabapple is a highly politicized artist and writer who gets around the world of sound bites, producing a new kind of long form journalism.
While she was in the West Bank, besides sketching what she saw, Crabapple, who chose her name at age 19 when she was working as a naked model, was reading from her forthcoming illustrated memoir, Drawing Blood.
One might say that 30-something is too young to be writing one’s memoirs, but Crabapple started out early on the path to success, hell-bent on remaining a maverick.
“Since I’ve written my memoir I’ve been thinking back on my decisions and they could be taken as adult and mature or just [those of] a weird person. I think I was just weird,” she said.
The Molly Crabapple store now includes vibrant 5×3″ vinyl stickers of the red Fuck You print design, created by the fine people at Sticker App! Sticker App creates custom stickers of all sizes and graciously sponsored us for this first run!
Each sticker is die cut, printed in high quality, UV resistant ink and good for indoor and outdoor application. You can pick them up in our online store for $5/ea.
Molly again participated in Zeitouna, a program aimed at aiding and inspiring the youngest victims of the Syrian crisis. Alongside other mentors, she returned to Reyhanli, Turkey to paint murals for the Jeel School for Syrian refugee children.
Like these? Consider donating to Karam Foundation, a grassroots organization working on both sides of the border.
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.