Press for Shell Game

Now that Shell Game is over, and I’m emerging from post-art, post-party coma, I’m rounding up some of the frankly stellar press we got.


…she often gets Hieronymus Bosch comparisons.

But if you showed most Bosch paintings to a small child, he or she would run away crying. They’re scary, and they’re supposed to be. Molly’s paintings, from a distance, are gorgeous and cheerful to look at; you often don’t realize they’re disturbing until you look closely. A child would look at one of her 6’x4’ paintings and spend all day staring at what looks like a fun story about balloon-wielding cats and police-force dogs and masked rabbits and little birds working on laptops, in Arabic no less. You’d have to be a grownup to realize the subjects of her giant, impassioned panoramas are dissident bloggers in Tunisia and the rise of rightist movements in Greece and the Occupy protests. To a kid, they’d just look like God’s very own circus posters, or a bunch of gorgeous, incomprehensible hieroglyphs whose only purpose was to be looked at.” “Molly Crabapple: Occupy’s Greatest Artist” by Matt Taibbi. Rolling Stone

…when her Occupy Wall Street images went worldwide, all that changed. Crabapple was suddenly both a graphic artist for the movement and an emblem of the way that art could break out of the gilded gallery. – New Republic

In 2011 people around the world broke consensus with power. They sat down in the main squares of their cities — Tahrir, Syntagma, Puerta del Sol, Zuccotti — and declared that the old machines were defunct. By 2012, the rebellions were partially crushed, or had mutated in ways their initial participants could never have imagined. It was a ferociously urgent year. Things, for the first time in a long time, felt like they might change — that a new world itself might be at the end of a street demonstration.
– Wired

“Crabapple turns to the side and gestures to a painting: a ghostly, burlesque, open-armed muse with her body made of red, white, and blue balloons, floating above a fray of grinning and green-furred fat cats and innocent little mice. It’s beautiful, hilarious, and horrifying. – Fast Company

 Doing big, time-consuming art based around current events is a strange thing. As you create the work, the events you’re creating recede. The world moves so much faster then your paintbrush. The motion in these pieces is just as much about that—an attempt to show how ungraspable, how impossible to hammer down that year was. –American Reader

Saltz’s piece, interestingly enough, is illustrated with a photograph of Keith Haring’s 1982 opening at another downtown storefront art gallery. For all that Molly Crabapple wasn’t even born in 1982, the similarities are obvious: a flat, populist, all-over aesthetic with a real propensity to go viral; the gallery merely one part of a much broader cultural attack. – Reuters

Like the works of James Ensor or Georg Scholz, “Shell Game” goes beyond the political cartoon, using the historic genre as a jumping off point to launch into a series of epic allegorical paintings, rife with hidden meanings, dualities and symbolism. – ArtSlant


Other show coverage:

Huffington Post
BusinessNews Insider


And featuring our show:

Stoya steps into the tub and swims in a mass of green gauze ribbons and play money printed by Crabapple herself. Crabapple’s $10,000 large-scale paintings of 2011’s political uprisings surround her; a rented bodyguard named Mike watches nearby. As Stoya poses in the tub, a throng of Occupy activists, lefty journalists, Jezebel bloggers, and burlesque stars in blue latex take turns snapping Instagram shots with her. The stench of marijuana wafts across the gallery. The windows around the tub steam up. “This is the New York I was promised,” Stoya says outside in her fur and heels, lighting one more Parliament. – Village Voice: Stoya, Pop Star of Porn