Annotated Muses

Annotated Muses debuted at the Postmasters Gallery in NYC in the fall of 2016. The show consisted of 11 paintings: portraits of ten women and one man.

Crabapple created elaborate portraits of her “muses”: friends, peers and heroes that are activists, journalists, artists, porn stars, musicians, philosophers, witches et al.

The process of making the paintings was three-step. First, she collected her own travel ephemera, and the papers that meant the most to her friends — their code and manuscripts, military IDs and tarot cards, love letters and eviction notices. Then, she draws her subject on each paper. She drew her friend hundreds of times, their mouths, bodies, eyes, hands. She drew them just out of bed, and as they appear onstage. Their public personas. Their private faces. Then, she made these portraits into a background for a large scale painting. The third step involves giving control over to her subjects, literally. She hands them the paintbrush, allowing them to annotate, adorn or deface their portraits, in whatever manner they see fit. In “Annotated Muses,” the muse is no longer silent. The muse talks back.

Last in the group, a six foot tall, eight foot wide portrait of Stoya was annotated live during the opening of the show.