Painter, Writer, and Author of Drawing Blood
“Molly Crabapple could be this generation’s Charles Bukowski. She’s a great artist whose life is also a work of art.”—Matt Taibbi
Based in New York, but a frequent world-traveller, Crabapple was shortlisted for a 2013 Frontline Print Journalism Award for her internationally acclaimed reportage on Guantanamo Bay. She is a contributing editor at VICE, and has written for The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The Paris Review, CNN, and The Guardian. She has done illustrated journalism in Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, The United Arab Emirates, Spain and Greece. Her published books include Discordia (with Laurie Penny), on the Greek economic crisis, and the art books Devil in the Details and Week in Hell. Her newest book is the illustrated memoir Drawing Blood.
She is also the illustrator of Matt Taibbi’s New York Times bestseller The Divide. She has collaborated with Spike Jonze to create backdrops for the 2013 YouTube Music Video Awards, and with Esperanza Spalding on projections for her concerts. She created art for Patton Oswalt’s DVD, Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time.
She regularly speaks to audiences around the world, at institutions such as The Museum of Modern Art, The London School of Economics, and Harvard and Columbia Universities. Her works are held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and The New York Historical Society.
Community: Molly Crabapple on the Connection between Art and Politics
For too long artists have played the role of observer, disconnected from the political activity of the people around them. Is that all an artist can contribute to society? In this personal talk, Molly Crabapple traces her experiences with the Occupy movement and recent Greek protests, describing the twists and turns that informed her political engagement as a visual artist. By combining politics with art, she shows that the place for art isn't standing to one side of political movements, but marching in the thick of things. She speaks on the direct ways that making art contributes to political movements—by adding the visceral and immediate power of images to the words and ideas that drive political engagement. What's more, she will help you recognize the opportunity to do more, and make a difference.
The Do-It-Yourself Life: What Molly Crabapple has Learned About Creativity, Art, and Living
We live in an era of flux. The old model of a creator or creative type—a person who does one thing well, and depends on institutions for support—is falling by the wayside. The creator of the future is a super-connected trans-disciplinary mutant: engaged and intellectually rebellious. Molly Crabapple has created everything from Occupy Wall Street posters and arts journalism of collapsing countries to murals on the walls of the world’s most exclusive nightclubs. On stage, she delivers an energizing, take-no-prisoners talk on how creators—how everyone—can create a life of their own design, without asking permission.
An unforgettable memoir of the years between 9/11 and the Occupy movement—in New York City and around the world—by the renowned artist and journalist
"When the world watched me hardest, when my brain burned itself bloody, I could draw. No matter what, I had that. It was all I needed."
In language that is fresh, bracing, and deeply moving—and illustrations that are rich, irreverent, and gorgeous—here is a memoir that will change the way you think about art, sex, politics, and survival in our times.
From a young age, Molly Crabapple was a rebel in search of a cause. After graduating from high school on New York's Long Island, she left America for Europe and the Near East, a young artist plunging fearlessly into cultures she had come to love through the stories of her artistic heroes.
Returning to New York as an art student, she supported herself by working as a life model, a burlesque performer, and an early member of the famous Suicide Girls. Eventually she landed a gig as house artist at Simon Hammerstein's legendary nightclub The Box, the epicenter of decadent Manhattan nightlife before the financial crisis of 2008—where she witnessed the class divide, between the bankers of Wall Street and the entertainers who walked among them in a bawdy, drug-fueled circus of mutual exploitation. Then, in the wake of the crash, the emerging Occupy movement galvanized Molly to lend her talent to a new form of witness journalism. Dubbed "Occupy's greatest artist" by Rolling Stone, she went on to write and illustrate stories from Guantanamo to Syria to Rikers Island to the labor camps of Abu Dhabi, transforming her work—her lifelong tool for making sense of the world around her—into a voice for the powerless.
Now, with the same blend of sharp-eyed reportage and unforgettable artwork that has marked her work in venues from The New York Times to Vanity Fair to Vice, Molly brings this tumultuous era back to life in a book that captures art and life in our times as viscerally as Patti Smith captured hers in Just Kids.