New article out about Julia de Burgos in today’s New York Review Daily.
Puerto Rico’s most famous poet and greatest literary figure, De Burgos is as significant a cultural icon for the island commonwealth as the artist Frida Kahlo is for Mexico. Every line of De Burgos’s verse is imbued with passion, feminist self-assertion, and love of homeland. As with many female artists, De Burgos’s life story added to her legend, though her romantic life and untimely death threatened to overshadow her work by turning her into an allegorical figure for the patria’s humiliations. Yet, outside of Puerto Rican communities, she is largely unknown despite the fact that her poetry, while firmly rooted in place, addresses the universal human subjects of love, war, and self-creation.
Brothers of the Gun as 82 illustrations, the same number as Goya’s Disasters of War
This spring, Molly and Marwan will be touring physically and by video link to meet readers of Brothers of the Gun, the book they created together that One World/Penguin Random House will publish on May 15.
Brooklyn, New York
Brooklyn Public Library will host a conversation with Molly (in-person) and Marwan (joining by video link), and Sinan Antoon. There will also be an accompanying art exhibition, Syria in Ink, opening that night. Free, with reservations requested.
Bookstores hosting events will have specially signed bookplates by Marwan (limited quantities, while they last), and Molly will be signing copies as well–– to order a signed copy, contact the bookstore directly before the event.
Molly has a new article out in the NYRB on the current state of life in Afrin, Syria.
photo- Khalil Ashawi/Reuters
To be a Kurd in Afrin, once a majority Kurdish city, Mohammed says, is now to find oneself a member of a despised group, suspected of disloyalty, and liable to be robbed, beaten, put to flight, or worse. In its seventh year, the Syrian civil war has seen the warring parties and their foreign sponsors foster and exploit ethnic and sectarian divisions in order to realize their strategic ends. The looting and ethnic cleansing of Afrin by Turkish-backed militias is the latest ugly episode of this grim and cynical logic.
Last week Molly returned to Puerto Rico to continue her work speaking to those affected and documenting the rebuilding efforts. She also installed two new wheatpaste murals just outside of the town of Mariana.
Portrait of some of the local men playing dominoes.
We’re excited to share the first few of what we hope will be many positive reviews come in this week for Brothers of the Gun. Book officially drops May 15th. Stay tuned here for a tour schedule
Syrian refugees hiding from Turkish border guards near Afrin, northern Syria, June 2015
NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS:
Their initial pieces were published in Vanity Fair. It was, as he puts it, an “art crime” for which he would probably have been executed had he been discovered by ISIS. A body hanging from a lamppost, a small child with an enormous rifle, people running down a rubble-strewn street—such images rendered beautiful by the pen are disturbing. Crabapple used vibrant, sometimes lurid color in the original magazine pieces, but the black-and-white illustrations in the book, carefully blotched and smudged, invite more thought, not least the cover illustration of a violinist playing an instrument that, on closer inspection, turns out to be a Kalashnikov. -Lindsey Hilsum, NYRB 4/19/18
Along with Crabapple’s haunting images, the author’s words offer both an elegy for what has been lost and an angry plea for all that remains. This is memoir at its most powerful, ensuring that we cannot forget lives we never knew.— Colleen Mondor
As he recounts the events leading to the increasing repression on the part of the Assad regime and the eventual descent of Syria into civil conflict, Hisham writes with a wryly observant eye for telling remarks. If the customary cry of faithful warriors was that God is great, then the quietly subversive retort of a Raqqawi graffiti artist makes for a fine rejoinder: “Tomorrow is better.” Tomorrow is a rare commodity in Hisham’s fast-moving account, which is enhanced by Crabapple’s powerful ink drawings.
psssstt: have we convinced you yet that the book is absolutely amazing!? It really is an incredible read filled with gorgeous art. You can already pre-order your copy at your local bookstore or amazon or b&n.
Molly has joined twelve other artists in collaborating with the art collective INDECLINE to do an art installation and performance piece in Trump Tower NYC. INDECLINE came to notoriety in late 2016 after installing nude and excruciatingly anatomically accurate statues of Trump in cities across America.
Their statement about this exhibit:
On March 29th, #INDECLINE checked into a suite at the Trump International Hotel in New York City. Over the course of 24 hours, the collective clandestinely erected an unauthorized, large-scale art installation entitled, “The People’s Prison”. In addition to the installation, 13 American artists were chosen to paint portraits on American Flags, each one representing a different iconic freedom fighter or activist. Select media outlets were invited to attend and report on the private unveiling. This project celebrates America’s long and vibrant history of political activism, poetic dissidence and radical thinking and serves as a call to all artists to engage in direct action against President Trump, his administration and their fanatical followers. The installation will be recreated at Gallery 30 South in Pasade