Painter, Writer, and Contributor to Vice and The Paris Review
A painter, illustrator, and writer based in New York, Crabapple has produced work on subjects including the Spanish general strike, her former career as a pinup model, her arrest during Occupy Wall Street, and her visit to Guantanamo Bay. (She is only the third artist ever granted access to Gitmo.) The New Republic writes, “Crabapple’s work and story is not just about infusing politics into visual art; she represents an alternative to the mechanism through which many young artists today find success.” This is Crabapple’s story: she learned to draw in a bookstore in Paris. At age 22, she founded Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, a chain of alternative drawing classes that has branches in 140 cities. She has written many books, including Discordia (with Laurie Penny) and Week in Hell, based on a project in which she covered the walls of a hotel room and produced 270 square feet of art. Her illustrated memoir, Drawing Blood, is forthcoming in 2015.
Crabapple’s work is in the permanent collection of the New York Historical Society and the Rubin Museum of Art, and has been shown in exhibitions at, among other places, the Riverside Art Museum in Los Angeles and Cabinet des Curieux in Paris. Crabapple regularly speaks to institutions around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art and the London School of Economics, about art, protest, and politics.
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.
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