Molly Crabapple is a pseudonym but it’s somehow fitting for the artist who learnt to draw a proper nose aged only four. She has a permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, but remarkably Crabapple is self-taught. Her trajectory into the world of illustration was unconventional: having dropped out of FIT (New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology) she launched her own leftfield drawing school in 2005 at the tender age 22. When she founded Dr Sketchy Art School Anti-Art School, she entered into a world of burlesque dancers, drag queens and underground performers. However, this was a familiar world to Crabapple. At 19 she started working as a life model, and that was in fact when Molly Crabapple first adopted her alias.
“When I go on TV, Twitter digs up old photos of me at parties and asks the producers why they have such a bimbo on air,” says Crabapple. “But the thing about proving things? Your jaggedness just goads you on – it makes you sharper and harder. It gives you swagger.” And boy, does she have swagger.
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Molly Crabapple is an artist and writer in New York. Her memoir, Drawing Blood, was published by HarperCollins in 2015. Brothers of the Gun, her illustrated collaboration with Syrian war journalist Marwan Hisham, will be published by One World/Penguin Random House in May 2018. Her reportage has been published in the New York Times, New York Review of Books, The Paris Review, Vanity Fair, The Guardian, VICE, and elsewhere. She has been the recipient of a Yale Poynter Fellowship, a Front Page Award, and a Gold Rush Award, and shortlisted for a Frontline Print Journalism Award. She is often asked to discuss her work chronicling the conflicts of the 21st Century, and has appeared on All In with Chris Hayes, Amanpour, NPR, BBC News, PRI, and more. The New Yorker described her 2017 mural "The Bore of Babylon" as "a terrifying amalgam of Hieronymus Bosch, Honoré Daumier, and Monty Python’s Flying Circus.” Her art is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Rubin Museum of Art and the New York Historical Society.
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