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.
In America, the justice system is anything but just. Courts are conduits for the caging of (mostly black or brown) humans. The police feed people into the courts, and if they sometimes kill those they are arresting it’s regarded as a cost barely worth mentioning. And though they kill a lot of people—in Utah, police shootings are the second most common type of homicide—they are rarely punished. From the fellow officers who write reports and testify on the behalf of killers to the prosecutors who seem determined to let murderers get away, the very system that claims to monitor the police protects them. Police kill. They get away with it. They kill again. Eventually, you realize that this process is not a bug in the system, it’s a feature.
Available for pre-order until Dec 2nd are three new items in the webstore. A men’s and women’s sized t-shirt, jersey scarf and a gorgeous sweater dress, all featuring hand screenprints of Molly’s work throughout 2014, these pieces are a limited edition that can only be purchased through the pre-order. No additional pieces will be printed after Dec 2nd.
You can these items, plus giclee prints, books and more in the online shop.
On August 9th, Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot a black teenager named Mike Brown. Since then, the city has been protesting. The police did not react well.
This is a short by animator Jim Batt and Molly Crabapple, explaining the events in Ferguson, and the events brought to light outside the city, since the shooting of Mike Brown.
Coding Freedom author Gabriella Coleman visits Strand to present her new book,Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous. Join us for an in-depth discussion and Q&A on this at once internationally lauded and condemned collective.
Gabriella will be joined by artists and writer Molly Crabapple; and The Baffler contributing editor Astra Taylor, creator of the documentary Zizek!
Buy a copy of Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous or a $15 Strand gift card in order to attend this event. All options admit one person.
Nov. 18th, 2014
7.00pm – 8.00pm
The Strand Bookstore
828 Broadway (corner of 12th Street & Broadway.)
Manhattan, NY 10003 United States
For more information on the event, click here!
This is Guantánamo detainee Shaker Aamer’s short story about Colonel John Bogdan, the man who effectively ran the camps at Guantánamo Bay from June 2012 till June this year. Bogdan’s tenure was an unpopular one with detainees; the mass hunger strike that broke out at the start of 2013 was reportedly triggered by an aggressive crackdown ordered by Bogdan, which included intrusive genital searches and the use of rubber bullets to quell outbreaks of unrest in the prison.
In this fable, Shaker claims that Colonel Bogdan is a man without a nose.
Wednesday, November 12, 7pm
Bluestockings Bookstore, Café, & Activist Center
We’re joined by journalists Adrian Chen and Molly Crabapple for a discussion on the ethics and possibilities for subjective, narrative journalism moderated by Tash Lennard, Senior News and Politics Analyst at VICE News.
Join us for a private afterparty at KGB Bar & Lit Mag from 9-11pm
I’ve made my living as an artist for eight years, almost entirely without galleries, and until relatively recently without agents. It was a death-slog that threw me into periodic breakdowns . I’m pretty successful now. I make a good living, even in New York, have a full time assistant who gets a middle-class salary, and have a book coming out with a major publisher. I feel so lucky, and so grateful, for every bit of this.
My success would not have been possible without the internet. I’ve used every platform, from Craigslist and Suicide Girls to Livejournal, Myspace, Kickstarter, Tumblr and Twitter. I’m both sick of social media and addicted to it. What nourishes you destroys you, and all that. The internet is getting increasingly corporate and centralized, and I don’t know that the future isn’t just going back to big money platforms. I hope its not.
Here’s what I’ve learned.
But what sort of politics does one have, and what sort of world will they make, if they demand that their beliefs consume everything? We must leave space for irreverence, for non-didacticism, for hard questions, for the humanity of everyone —especially those we hate, and those we think hate us back. If art is not allowed to explore the complexity of killers, it is little more than a moralistic cartoon of the kind forced on children. And even children reject that shit.
– In Defense of The Death of Klinghoffer and Art That Takes Risks, by Molly Crabapple for VICE.
While Snowden’s NSA revelations are most associated with the internet, “online surveillance” is a bit of a misnomer. The web long ago bled into meatspace. A CCTV camera could easily capture your face, then link that up to your Facebook profile, your purchases, your friends. You shed data like strands of hair. You’re both made up of data and more than the sum of it, like DNA.
Occupy Wall Street activist Shawn Carrié always dreamed of becoming a classical pianist, and he was on his way, with a full music scholarship to New York University. That all changed on March 17, 2012, when, during a demonstration at Zuccotti Park, a New York City police officer pulled his thumb back and back and back until it broke. Six other cops kicked him until he bled from his ears, according to Shawn. He told me that while he was held at the Midtown South Precinct an officer named Perez tore a splint the hospital had given him from his finger and said, “You fucking Occupiers. Every time you come back, we’re going to kick your ass.”
Shawn would never play piano at a professional level again.
In December 2013, New York City paid Shawn (whose birth name is Shawn Schrader) an $82,500 settlement as compensation for the beatings and for arresting him on an old warrant meant for a different person named Shawn Carrié. But the officers themselves paid not a cent. Nor were they arrested, as civilians who break peoples’ fingers might be. They admitted no wrongdoing. They suffered no consequences at all. Instead, New York City taxpayers bore the cost.
Shawn’s lawsuit could be considered a success. But it did nothing to dissuade the cops who attacked him from attacking others. When we spoke in my living room, his pale eyes flashed with anger. “Justice might as well be a cotton-candy castle in the sky,” he said. “I’ve never seen it.”
““With the exception of Vice News, ISIS has permitted no foreign journalists to document life under their rule in Raqqa,” Crabapple wrote. “Instead, they rely on their own propaganda. To create these images, I drew from cell-phone photos a Syrian sent me of daily life in the city. Like the Internet, art evades censorship.”
Bidding for Groundswell’s Annual Art Auction is now live! Featuring Molly’s signed 2014 self portrait, which you can bid on here. Bidding ends the day of the benefit, October 14th. For more information and to purchase tickets to the event, click here.
Groundswell Annual Art Auction Benefit
110 East 25th Street
New York, NY 10010
October 14, 2014, 7-10 pm
OR Books just released a look inside Tales of Two Cities: The Best and Worst of Times in Today’s New York, edited by John Freeman, illustrations by Molly Crabapple
The book is now shipping. Get your copy here.