Monthly Archives: June 2012

Paris/Amsterdam with Royal Talens

Dear Comrades,


with the Mona Lisa. Bitch totally photobombed me.

I’m writing to you from the black and brocade lobby of the Vondel Hotel in Amsterdam.

I’ve spent the past week in Europe, at the behest of my beloved Royal Talens, the art supply company that showers me in nifty toys. The ink, acrylics I use? The motherfucking Arches paper? Is by them.

Royal Talens brought nine of their favorite artists, from a variety of disciplines, out to Paris and Amsterdam.


Nike of Samothrace, my favorite sculpture as a kid. Nary a tourist in site.

We got to eat violet macarons, have a private tour of the Louvre, and see the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Rembrandt House, and even the Royal Talens factory.

It was at this very place I had that surreal, late stage capitalist experience of seeing the disassembled versions of the paint tubes I struggle with daily.

Van de Linde art supplies gave each artist a huge package of art toys, selected just for them.

On my off time, I worked on a portrait series called Amsterdam Demimonde. I drew and spoke to escorts, digital rights activists, erotic filmmakers, and the co-organizer of Vondelbunker, an artspace in a former bomb shelter. Hope to put it online in the next few weeks.


Venus de Milo sketched from life.


Kate, with epic hat

It was an honor and  a delight to see two of my favorite cities again.  Also to meet the other artists- big ups to Casey Baugh, Willow Wolfe, Kate Zambrano, Amir Fallah (founder of Beautiful Decay) and Jessica Lopez.

We all nearly got killed by bikes

Next stop- London, for some meetings.  And then, Athens with journo Laurie Penny, to create DiscordiaDiscordia, our art/journalism mashup about Athens during  Eurozone crisis, will be released by Random House UK as an e-book in fall.

Thank you so much to Canson, Royal Talens, and Kyle Richardson, who organized the trip.


Best ass in art history, sketched from life at the Louvre.


Amsterdam, looking like Gingerbread land


The Louvre during our private tour. Wanted to roller skate.

Announcing: Discordia

Laura Watts at the Chicago #noNATO protests, May 2012, by Molly Crabapple.

Discordia is coming!
We’ve been waiting to announce this for a while. On the 4th of July, the splendid Ms Molly Crabapple and I are going to Greece to do some reporting, meeting up with activists and community organisers on the ground in Athens and elsewhere. Molly is an artist who lives in a loft full of birdcages opposite Zucotti Park; I’m a journalist who lives out of a large red backpack on Molly’s floor. We met during Occupy Wall Street and have spent the past several months experimenting with making things happen together - when I went to cover the protests in Chicago and Montreal this summer, I took pictures on my phone and sent them to Molly, who created art from them. Discordia, however, is the first trip where both of us will be there on the ground. She will make pictures, I will make words, we will try very hard not to get arrested or deported, and all shall be marvellous. Discordia is an experimental art-and-journalism project, taking the Hunter Thompson-Ralph Steadman macho model and twisting it to our own ends, and it’ll be published as an ebook in the Autumn.

Putting this project together has been interesting from the start, as I assumed we’d be staying on the floor of a squat and Molly assumed we’d be in some sort of bougie hotel with taps that actually work, and the process of gradual compromise began there, as did my exhortations that Ms Crabapple wear shoes that are at least vaguely sensible. Right now we’re learning rudimentary Greek, pestering contacts and reading a great deal, and whatever happens while we’re there, we hope to produce something really innovative and worthwhile. Stay tuned!

Laura Watts at the Chicago #noNATO protests, May 2012, by Molly Crabapple, with words by Laurie Penny

Laurie explains the project below….


Discordia is coming!

We’ve been waiting to announce this for a while. On the 4th of July, the splendid Ms Molly Crabapple and I are going to Greece to do some reporting, meeting up with activists and community organisers on the ground in Athens and elsewhere. Molly is an artist who lives in a loft full of birdcages opposite Zucotti Park; I’m a journalist who lives out of a large red backpack on Molly’s floor. We met during Occupy Wall Street and have spent the past several months experimenting with making things happen together – when I went to cover the protests in Chicago and Montreal this summer, I took pictures on my phone and sent them to Molly, who created art from them. Discordia, however, is the first trip where both of us will be there on the ground. She will make pictures, I will make words, we will try very hard not to get arrested or deported, and all shall be marvellous. Discordia is an experimental art-and-journalism project, taking the Hunter Thompson-Ralph Steadman macho model and twisting it to our own ends, and it’ll be published as an ebook in the Autumn.

Putting this project together has been interesting from the start, as I assumed we’d be staying on the floor of a squat and Molly assumed we’d be in some sort of bougie hotel with taps that actually work, and the process of gradual compromise began there, as did my exhortations that Ms Crabapple wear shoes that are at least vaguely sensible. Right now we’re learning rudimentary Greek, pestering contacts and reading a great deal, and whatever happens while we’re there, we hope to produce something really innovative and worthwhile. Stay tuned!

New Shell Game Paintings

I’ve spent the last few months on brutal binge painting for Shell Game.  Unfortunately, I don’t have good art photos yet, but these cellphone photos should give you an idea of the insanity

A New England
(the UK anti-austerity movement)


The Business of Illness
(US health insurance)


The Hivemind
(Anonymous)

Makerbot!

The posters I did for Makerbot are now up in their shop. You can see a bigger version at that link to.  Which you’ll want to do, because holy detail insanity.
What I thought when I first saw Makerbot.  God they, and Bre, inspire me.

“As soon as I walked into MakerBot, I knew I was seeing The Future. And by this I mean the aesthetic, jet-pack wearing future we had been promised. As I saw the extruders whirl round and round, making my friend’s heads in plastic, it hit me — I had to capture this moment into art. For my collaboration with MakerBot, I re-envisioned Captain Nemo’s submarine, rigged out with dozens of MakerBots, each turning out chess sets, tea sets, and aquatic art objects. It being a ship, there are cats. I bet they know how to use the MakerBot, too.”

The posters I did for Makerbot are now up in their shop. You can see a bigger version at that link to.  Which you’ll want to do, because holy detail insanity.

What I thought when I first saw Makerbot.  God they, and Bre, inspire me.

“As soon as I walked into MakerBot, I knew I was seeing The Future. And by this I mean the aesthetic, jet-pack wearing future we had been promised. As I saw the extruders whirl round and round, making my friend’s heads in plastic, it hit me — I had to capture this moment into art. For my collaboration with MakerBot, I re-envisioned Captain Nemo’s submarine, rigged out with dozens of MakerBots, each turning out chess sets, tea sets, and aquatic art objects. It being a ship, there are cats. I bet they know how to use the MakerBot, too.”

Transmography Opens Thursday!

Transmography
Thirteen Fairytale Portraits of Queers Beyond the Gender Binary
by Molly Crabapple and Najva Sol


Transmogrify,Verb:
To transform, esp. in a surprising or magical manner


From poets to porn-stars, computer nerds to community gardeners, artists to activists: these portraits capture some of the real gender warriors today. They are trans, genderqueer, or just gender-fabulous, and they deserve their own magical realm.

Each portrait was shot by Najva Sol with a lomo camera, then embellished by me.  Show sponsored by Lomography.  Hope to see some of you at the New York opening!


Show Opens At Lomography stores in New York AND San Francisco
June 7th at 6pm until 9pm

New York Lomography Store
41 West 8th Street
Manhattan, NY 10011
212-529-4351

San Fran Lomography Store
309 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
415-248-0096