Read Drawing Blood by Molly Crabapple Online

drawing-blood

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, irAn 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....

Title : Drawing Blood
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780062323644
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Drawing Blood Reviews

  • Carol.
    2019-03-28 19:10

    Review with pictures from the book at https://clsiewert.wordpress.com/2016/...I never know how to rate autobiographies because I feel as if I’m passing judgement on the person. Is that why people read them? I don’t know. For myself, I was attracted to this book by the interesting connection between drawing and journalism, as well as the idea of an illustrated autobiography. I was strongly reminded me of a dear friend who is an artist and writer, and the letters and chapbooks we created filled with beauty in images and words.“Unlike photography, though, visual art has no pretense of objectivity. It is joyfully, defiantly subjective. It’s truth is individual.”The summary: The book description talks about “the time period between 9/11 and Occupy Wall Street” which is grossly, but not specifically accurate, in that it makes as it sound as though the time period was framed by activism and not just numbers. And that isn’t quite true either: beginning with late childhood, it mentions her parents and divorce, her challenges in high school, her first love. Frustrations with being young and rebellious. After graduation, looking for adventure, she heads to France and the Middle East. She returns at eighteen to begin art classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Having a hard time making ends meet, she takes Craiglist jobs for nude modeling for Men With Cameras. From there, it is her exploration into the world of burlesque as she tries to manage classes and find housing. This lasts some time, punctuated by a trip or two to Europe and the Middle East where she begins to understand her vulnerability as a single female traveler and meets men who help her. Eventually she meets a man, grows increasingly frustrated with school, and expands her work with burlesque into running shows. She has an abortion. 9/11 is just a couple of pages; likewise Hurricane Sandy. She networks her way into an exclusive nightclub and into galleries. We meet her friends. She travels to London. In her late twenties, she starts to become politicized and stops by Occupy Wall Street. She joins a journalist and becomes more political in her art.“So much of my life was spent chasing money. It shaped my friendships, distorted my thinking.”The analysis: I loved the illustrations that accompanied the text. Although there was limited color–red, orange, yellow; quite appropriate for a firecracker personality–I loved the detail and the skill. I enjoyed reading her stories and then seeing a drawing that illustrated the image, whether thought, building or portrait.“In their complexity, I wanted the paintings to resemble the bits of dreams that cling to your eyelids when you wake.”Alas, Crabapple has a way to perfect writing skill. Much like my summary, much of the book reads like “I did this and then I did that with so-and-so.” Her personality is kept locked away, with very little information about her thinking process or the intimacies of her experience. And I don’t mean sex; Crabapple has mastered the art of displaying what seems private without sharing intimacy. Her passion comes through when talking about drawing, which sadly, is not often enough. As she becomes more politicized, she talks more about composition and what it represents to her. But I wish she had shared more of her artistic explorations. At one point early on, she refers to her style in a derogatory way, which kind of surprised me–I didn’t really feel I had been given a foundation for it, and there is evident skill in her style. In another, she mentions in an offhand manner how she can’t draw a straight line. She doesn’t need to, but again, I wanted to know where those thoughts came from. I would have liked to hear more about her process, about how her style worked–or not–with F.I.T.’s program, and what she actually learned from Fred, the lover who taught her so much. Still, mention of art and imagery twines through the book, and those were always the parts that shone:“We live in the most image saturated age in history, and a thousand cell phone pics mark the occasion whenever a cop cracks a protester ‘s skull, but I wanted to prove that artists had a reason to leave the studio–to show that illustration had something to say.”Despite the hype, her politicizing happens quite late in the book. Although she falls into nude modeling for quick cash and mentions safety issues, it doesn’t seem to impact behavior or consciousness. Eventually, there’s a sort of burgeoning feminism out of a website Suicide Girls (an “adult lifestyle brand”), but it is more about money-making and again, less about connections. She mentions other girls’ names but admit she didn’t know any of them well. In fact, throughout her recollections, it’s evident that there’s a lot of jealously and emulation of more ‘successful’ women, which is kind of the antithesis of feminist consciousness. Work at The Box, an exclusive nightclub, begins a time period of more class consciousness, but not enough to eschew $900 shoes when she gets first commission, so take it for what its worth. Occupy first becomes something to participate in and somewhat support. A change in economic status becomes casually dropped into conversation, as in “That night I was in London, watching Twitter for the inevitable police attack,” so it’s hard to view her as a hardcore member of the movement. And in fairness, she never claims she was–although again the book blurb certainly seems to paint her as such (from the Rolling Stone, no less).Honestly, I wouldn’t call it a waste of time, but I’d hesitate to recommend it to most people. Her writing lacks more than surface insight. For instance: “by 22, I was disillusioned with modeling and exhausted from the late nights at burlesque clubs.” Fair enough, but she’s quite recast her MWC work from what she termed it earlier–easy money–into something to be ‘disillusioned’ with, and the burlesque work was done for love of the act. It’s most pronounced during Occupy, such as when she criticizes “Even the liberal media figures many protesters had loved during the 2008 election turned against us.” Occupy was extremely problematic by the end, so it's hard to cast anyone who criticized it as "turning against us." It’s a theme that echoes, and maybe it’s one we all engage in: events are re-cast in a thoughtful, purposeful glow, instead of a self-promotional one. When she discusses lay-offs at The Box during the Wall Street Crash: “And it was embodied in this empty night club. After the crash, what would happen to the human luxury goods who worked here, we sparklers illuminating the face of the destroyer?” This is from a place where performers shot fireworks out of their asses and farted Beethoven, so I’ll just assume she meant ‘sparkler’ literally. I’m not saying such work isn’t counter-cultural, but just how much activism in your art are you claiming here? There is often a narrow line between being shocking to be noticed or create a persona, and being shocking to make a statement that causes a jolt in thinking, but that’s a discussion that is sadly missing.She has a talent for self-promotion, and there’s a ton of name-dropping, although I’m not sure who it is for as much is NYC based. Interestingly, there’s a scarcity of information about those that she remains close to–her family and her lovers. If you want to know more about -isms and art, almost any issue/article of Bitch will give more insight with stronger analysis. However, her art is remarkable, so if it captivates, it might be worth checking out her other work. The first two chapters are available on-line and provide a taste of how it reads.Another book that fusses the rating system: 3 1/2 stars for the art, 3 stars for the writing, 2 1/2 stars for the insight.

  • Molly
    2019-04-09 19:20

    David Golding at First of the Month MagazineMolly Crabapple is truly no talent, but one: self-promotion. The pictures are crude, ugly and childish; the prose is mawkish and adolescent, with much crass salesman desperation leading to strings of clichés in the style of the J Peterman catalogue. But all this would just be pitiable if she weren't a malicious and destructive character, a propagandist who goes to Chatila refugee camp and stages herself, an American with an Israeli right of return, as sexually molested by a paranoid and anti-Semitic ten year old Palestinian child. (Hard to believe this happened, but even if by some wild chance it had, what is the ethic of journalism that could possibly authorize going to a camp that was the scene of a such a horror and then writing shit about a child who lives still dispossessed on that bloodsoaked site, to aggrandize the author? Without offering him space to defend himself?)Crabapple's stock in trade is the tale of her bravely enduring another victimization, and endless gropings, oglings, stalkings, "shoulder rape" and "eye-fucking" -- reckless eyeballing -- by brown men and boys:"Of a mysterious three month journey in Turkey after 911, the young woman who says she dreams of being a "burlesque dancer/artist/spy" relates very little in Drawing Blood, except for four short encounters with men, one a sexual assault by a Turkish hotel clerk, one sexual harassment by Turkish soldiers, one inappropriate sexual pursuit by an Turkish inn owner, last a vague, highly romantic encounter with a glamorized Bulgarian war reporter who has never reported a war (like Molly Crabapple herself now), who sounds like a thinly disguised Mossad agent. ("War journalists are some of the last macho archetypes we can lust after without ambivalence. They chronicle violence without being violent themselves. Victor hadn’t covered wars, but he had traveled to dangerous places.") ...She imagines herself moving through an endless jungle as she treks toward her tawdry goal, the people around her fauna, simply obstacles (frequently), menaces (usually), or things for her use then and now to aggrandize herself one way or another. During her entire three months sojourn in Turkey, much of it spent in Istanbul, Caban has no interaction with any woman that seems worthy of report. " -- hereHome in Williamsburg, Caban is still wandering through that imagined jungle, braving the desire and abuse of the brown male fauna, Latino this time ("Sssss! Rubia!" "Hey white bitch!" is all she reports her neighbors saying within her hearing). These experiences are given as titillatingly revolting and the men depicted as contemptible, in contrast to the thrills she gets from burlesque performing for rich white men. Repeated episodes of lusted-after-white-girl among the comical brutes establish a colonial paradigm in which JC's sub-mediocre art and infantile pseudo-journalism are to escape ordinary professional evaluation, because, as they said in the 19th century, "the Orient is a career," like these:[A] boy, perhaps eleven but taller than me, hissed that I was making maps “so the Jews could bomb the camp”. He told Mae that she was a Shi’ite who would be slaughtered. He grabbed my arm, hard, trying to gouge out skin. We turned to leave. He grabbed my hair — harder. Grabbed my ass. ------As we got farther in, we passed homemade roulette wheels and porn. The market was illegal but tolerated. As I spoke to vendors, more and more men gathered around me. In all-male Musaffah, a white girl might as well be an alien.-----Then the other officers left. I sat alone with the boss in my compartment. By that time, my food poisoning had turned into a full-blown fever. I was delirious. It was three A.M. I wanted to sleep. I lay down in the bunk. He pressed himself on top of me, his breath hot in my face. I didn’t understand. Then I did. I shoved him off, then stared in shock when he stuttered an apology.-----"If you keep traveling, you're going to get yourself raped."Z. and I were sitting in a cafe on the edge of the Sahara. We'd been bumming around Morocco for three weeks. Despite my warnings, Z was increasingly disgusted with me for provoking constant street harassment. I covered myself chin to toe, but guys at the bus station would hiss at me like snakes anyway."That man just left a mosque," Z said, after an elderly man eye-fucked me. "He's supposed to be thinking of god."------------------ In Şanliurfa, a city near the Syrian border, I smiled too long at a hotel clerk. He pounced on me, trying to force his tongue into my mouth. I shoved him off. He looked embarrassed to have misread the situation. ...and between them, Crabapple proves a tireless source of disinformation, slander, and warmongeringplatformed by Vice and Fusion. Her entire product is fake; almost all the "facts" in her "reporting" are false, and they're often lurid, racist, Streicher-esque inventions scarcely less grotesque than the minstrel shows she produces (Chavistas murdered a Venezuelan model, she "reports" baselessly, for attending a protest; Syrian Arab Army soldiers "raped women with rats" she contends, without a shred of substantiation; "Maoist guerrillas" are causing the mass migration of guest workers to Emirates by terror, she "reports" absurdly). Her slanders extend to personal vendettas, but these also often coincide with the needs of the Pentagon and State Dept, so she finds endless empathy for the mercenary rapist murderers in ISIS but feigns outrage to falsely accuse a critic of the US military's Tor project, of which she is a promoter, of sexual harassment, in between making racist jokes about North Koreans (Kim Jong Il was their "Dear Reader" yuk yuk yuk) on the Joe Rogan show. Caban's main scam (Crabapple is of course a brand name) - and as a con artist she is reasonably gifted -- is a kind of penny ante disaster capitalism: she's the girl who sells t-shirts at the site of a terrorist bombing instead of the rock concert. And she has developed a way to use her crappy drawings to "put her imprint on the world" and drain value from public concern, to leech credibility and attention from other people's agony and other people's resistance -- whether victims of police terror in US or victims of her paramilitary terrorist friends in Syria -- in order to monetize their suffering and steal their glory. For example, she made promo intersticials for Fusion in which she expropriated the image and pain of Eric Garner and other victims of police murder to sell to the the network, making it look as though Eric Garner had endorsed this notoriously right-wing racist media project. Rivalling this bloodsucking for chutzpah and tastelessness was Caban's attempt to siphon for herself the heroism of the honored martyr Rachel Corrie, and to coopt her dignity, righteousness, and sacrifice as a brand enhancenent for the very Empire she opposed and its servants like Crabapple who claimed kinship and credit via a supposedly shared tribal affiliation: "No one did more than Rachel Corrie for the name 'Americans in Palestine", tweeted Caban promoting herself as An American in Palestine. Corrie did not choose to go to represent and promote US Empire, or American Ethnic Pride, but being dead, she can't stop Crabapple from exploiting and manipulating her corpse for those odious causes and her own and her sponsors' profit.This cynical lamprey-ism characterizes all Caban's proceedings. Everything is mimicry, the reproduction of something already kitsch in the even more depleted paper doll cutouts register: Zak Smith painted punky “professional naked girls with octopuses”, Caban painted twee professional cheesecake girls with octopuses.Laurie Penny portrays herself as a magical child, late of Hogwarts, out “having adventures,” to "change the world," but pole dancing and "humping a webcam", Caban draws herself as another girl child beside her, two toddlers in a porny fairy tale dragging suitcases bigger than they are through a storybook Athens created to display them as little lost children who are objects of adult sexual desire. What is most striking, however, is how clear it becomes from the narrative of her rise in Drawing Blood that the cartoonish, porny-carny sensibility of Caban’s bogus “war reporting” for Vice etc, featuring (fictional and 'creatively' non fictional) women “raped with rats” and Keebler elf refugees beside glamorized jihadists holding dripping heads, fiendish "Shia Militias" rocking the Punisher as logo, and the uppity evil clown types she makes of Gaddafi, Assad, and Mugabe, merely repackages as disinfotainment the throwback white supremacist perverse-puritanical Lynchian music hall scene at the Box, where Crabapple was launched as a pseudo-bohemian hanger on of the rich. It's remarkable how her later "journalism" flashes for attention with the Box' same prurient-prude formula of tribal grotesquerie and its Nazi schemes of beauty and freakishness. Her "reporting" was incubated in this sleazy cabaret where Caban found herself titillated to a trembling swoon by a woman jabbing herself with a butcher knife instead of a dildo and “drag queens in blackface” (yes, blackface), expelling “fireworks out of their asses”. These acts, she relates breathlessly, became the muses who loosened her own artistic sphincter:The Box stayed open till five A.M. every night. Beyoncé, Lindsay, Scarlett Johansson slipped out. I-bankers blew twenty grand on bottles of champagne. Onstage, Russian acrobats did backflips over chainsaws, drag queens in blackface shot fireworks out of their asses, and Broadway dancers shoved their bare breasts into the audience’s collective maw. The singer Raven O presided over the nights like a god of sex.…Flambeaux ran through the crowd in a top hat, stockings, and girdle, a leer cracking his thin Scottish face. He held a gas can. “Wouldn’t it be fun to ring the funeral bell/On our civilization, and watch it burn in Hell,” the Tiger Lilies sang.Flambeaux poured the can’s contents madly on the audience, splashing liquid over their suits and evening gowns. It was water, of course, but they were too drunk to tell. One man tried to run. On stage, Flambeaux lifted a drape to reveal a hog-tied girl. She screamed. He shoved an apple into her mouth. He drew a circle with his torch, and flames leapt around her. Then, from his panties, he pulled another torch, like a penis, and lit the tip on fire. The girl writhed in terror. He pulled her up by her hair, leered, and grabbed the apple from her mouth.The curtain lowered right before he forced the girl to suck the torch.I was spellbound.The next act began. Acantha, a blues singer from New Orleans, slunk out. She wore her hair in forties curls, her skin dark against her white silk slip. “I put a spell on you,” Acantha sang. Around her, girls materialized. They wore slips. They were sleepwalkers, the lights blue on their thighs as they hitched up their skirts. They moved as if through gel. Then they ripped open their slips in unison to reveal small, upturned breasts, which they shoved in the front row’s faces.The curtain closed. It opened. An acrobat balanced on a dildo with one finger. The curtain closed. It opened. The performance artist Narcissister stood on a rotating platform, nude except for a mask, pulling her outfit out of every orifice of her body. The curtain closed.It was four A.M. I was delirious, covered in sweat, having consumed nothing but stolen popcorn. My mind swam with images. I was bursting with them, as if I’d eaten too much. I couldn’t wait to get back to Fred’s studio and draw. Broke though I was, I hailed a taxi from the line outside, tearing open the door in my eagerness to get back to the studio before the images fled from my head. As the cab sped over the Williamsburg Bridge, I scribbled with lipstick onto the back of a receipt. Crows. Dancers. The earth. The sun rose. The skyline shone silver in that humid dawn. In my excitement, I broke the lipstick.This wasn’t like the burlesque shows I’d danced in, where friends cheered no matter how badly I missed my mark. This was New York at its most fucked and glamorous. The rich and poor rubbed against each other until they bled. This was angry. It was louche. It was corrupt with millions of dollars. It was for real.The car let me out at Fred’s building. I waited outside for a moment. Bushwick was silent, the illegal spray shop closed, a cat prowling outside one of the warehouses. I breathed harder, to cover the ache in my throat.The Box was my girl. My muse. My Moulin Rouge. I wanted in. And this commercial, cartoon fascioid authoritarian BDSM sensibility is repeated also in the entitlement Caban exhibits in insisting on penetrating the delivery room in a refugee camp in Iraq, a few years later, to draw a young Syrian woman’s really bleeding genitals as she gave birth far from home, to sell to Vice as Grand Guignol “conflict journalism.” Her racket is to take the real horror she helps her sponsors inflict on real people, derive imagery charged with "true story" frisson from it, stage it as comic book panels in the vaudeville proscenium of Vice or Vanity Fair for the pleasure of the audience, with a winking barker's alibi that what is beheld is an edifying as well as a titillatingly terrifying spectacle, and as she monetizes the attention, shift the blame for this exploitation from herself and her paymasters to the audience when the feigned piety and compassion of her act (when she is monetizing Syrian refugees or jailed Americans, say) means she cannot merely get away with chest pounding Nietzschean boasting of her cynical winner-ism. All this hucksterism and scavenging in the cesspools around the immense crime of Wall Street is narrated by Caban as both glamorous nightlife and valiant political struggle (her more recent immersion in the pseudo-left sphere of Jacobin and Verso has taught her to go back to inject a perfunctory diagnosis of “class war” into the flat anecdotes she told before several times without it. Her earlier versions describe the Box instead as the fantasy setting for Cinderella upward mobility.) On this just god awful tasteless environment, Crabapple’s recollections now impose a veneer of high school status war, in which an imagined constant angling for mutual postures of Nietzschean contempt characterizes the sociality of the establishment and somehow is supposed to redeem its sheer Disneyland yukiness, papering over quotidian humiliating and dangerous work conditions and tastelessness with some adolescent fantasy of “subversive” battles between the women paid to be dangling bound in wire sucking things and the oglers of the sucking, the cork-sooted drag queens, their white bosses, and their white bosses’ white “house artist” clerk. I tried to capture the rays of contempt Nik was throwing toward the audience. You fucking peasants, he seemed to say with each curl of his mouth. (We are to admire this petty bourgeois ressentiment as "anarchist" or god knows what.)Crabapple's product is an endless stream of such exploitative fraudulence in the service of violence: ersatz journalism, ersatz politics, ersatz revolutions (today the neoliberal gangster crew of "revolutionaries" she did aggressively deceptive pr for to bring to power in Greece sent the Greek airforce to buzz the Syrian refugees for whom she claims so much sympathy) , fake philanthropy, make-believe battlefield surgery, an endless charade, Grand Guignol and Tarzan comix. A fascist, a fabricator, a plagiarist, an opportunist, a fraud, and, sleaziest of all,a snitch in league with her friends from the department of homeland security and the jihadist gangs chopping heads across Syria, Crabapple is one of most vile as well as the most vapid micro celebs to succeed in exploiting a largely fictitious relation to the Occupy Wall Street movement to launch the profitable illusion of a career.

  • Charles
    2019-04-26 19:14

    “Art was a stranger making eyes through the smoke of a foreign dive bar”Drawing Blood is such an engaging read that I couldn’t put the book down until I had devoured all of its contents and yet, there were so many lines and passages to savor and to reread, so many artworks by Molly to let your eyes linger over. This may not be an art catalogue but it’s probably the most beautifully illustrated memoir I’ve ever read. Some passages I had read in the reviews or articles by Molly over the past week but they were even more enjoyable the second time around placed in context and elaborated on more fully.I came to Molly’s work after she was both writing and creating visual works of art. She seemed so established, so sure by the time I encountered both her writing and her artworks that it was good to get the backstory on her journey as an artist and a writer. I’ve never had the privilege of meeting Molly or attending an exhibition of her work but she and many of the characters in her book seem so familiar as part of my mental landscape that in some ways reading the book was like visiting distant friends and filling in all the gaps of what they’ve been up to between the various stories they’ve told you, you heard about, or read in their Facebook posts.“Fear is a doorway…”Drawing Blood is a book that by the time you finish you’ve already thought of ten or twenty friends that you’d recommend the book to: young nieces and nephews to encourage them to dream of travel to distant lands; artist, writers, and poet friends who are toiling away in oblivion because it is either they must write, they must make art, or they will die inside; friends who are politically active in fighting against the status quo, against the establishment; friends who’ve grown cynical from the endless stream of headlines that make this feel like the darkest of times growing darker; to friends who compulsively color outside the lines; to women young and old who are fighting the patriarchy; and to friends who enjoy reading a good memoir.“I began to find the art that came from my flaws as well as my virtues-that art as intrinsic and unfakeable as handwriting”In reading Molly’s journey of becoming an artist and a writer I thought of William Blakes lines, “Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement, are roads of Genius”. Molly didn’t follow anyone else's prescribed path on her journey. She tested herself constantly and expanded herself by walking through the doors opened by facing her fears. She followed her curiosity wherever it led her. She never let anyone else define what it is to be a woman, to be an artist, or to simply be human though she took in a wide net of counsel.“Come back tomorrow, gorgeous. We’ve always wanted our own Toulouse-Lautrec.” I really had no clue about many of the scenes of the playgrounds of the wealthy (why would I) Molly describes but wow is it delicious to see them through her critical eyes. I’d want to time travel to these scenes just to see the art in the context for which they were created. Molly though does a wonderful job of recreating this for the reader. However, Molly’s never some court artist. She’s moved equally well in rural villages in Turkey as in the wild excesses of The Box.Sometimes the muse “shows up at your doorway wearing black stockings & ties you to the bed.” I’m of the school of thought that artist should be questioning the status quo, they should be pushing the boundaries of what society deems acceptable, for by doing so they expand the space we all live in. Vicarious as it may be it was good to journey with Molly as she pushed herself, as she put herself in situations where she wasn’t entirely comfortable and often not entirely safe.“To see my art held on the streets meant more to me than to see it hanging in any gallery”Molly has been identified as the Occupied movement’s most prominent artist. Drawing Blood helps put that label into flesh and blood context. It’’s not a label Molly gives herself and she pushes back where she’s being given credit that is due to others. Even so, she’s fully engaged with all her being in the times we live in and doesn’t shy away from confronting the monsters and the hypocrisy rather she finds that inside herself or on the street.I found so much to enjoy in Drawing Blood that I’ll be getting a second copy that I can mark up an annotate on a second reading but I do want to keep one first edition spotless so that I can go back from time to time and look at the art and remember the inspiring day I spent with Molly reading Drawing Blood from cover to cover. In these dark times Drawing Blood is a ray of hope, though it’s far from pollyannish.

  • Yanira
    2019-04-12 18:19

    I have to start off by saying that I did not know anything about Molly before reading this book. She's truly an artist. She has a lot of talent. I love the colors and the style. Her story is amazing. The book started out really well. Her family stories. Her traveling. There was a part of the book that I liked. I liked when she talked about the American Dream. She said something about asking a strawberry picker if hard work gets you anywhere. However, somewhere she lost me. She took too long to get to her point. She named many people I could not keep up with and it felt like the ending was rushed. Not sure how I feel completely about this book. I do know that she makes great points and that she is a good writer.

  • Audacia Ray
    2019-04-15 00:17

    Wow. There are so many different things for me to say about this book. It was an odd reading experience because Molly is a peer I have a lot of respect for, and during a chunk of years she writes about we traveled in nearby circles (full disclosure, I make a brief appearance in the book). We had slightly different experiences of the same time period but I loved seeing the early 2000s NYC through her eyes. The main thing I've been chewing on in the days since I finished reading the book is the prominence of girl loves and inspiring female artist peers in the book, it's worth the read just for the writing about those relationships - but really it's also so so much more.

  • Gea
    2019-04-15 20:27

    Artist and writer Molly Crabapple’s latest book is a beautiful bloody confessional of her young life thus far. Drawing Blood, the hard cover, is a physically scrumptious specimen full of exquisitely detailed art and saturated splashes of color. But what surprised me even more, considering she just “seriously” began writing in 2012, is the language. Crabapple writes in clear aggressive prose laced with glittering metaphor and descriptions as vivid as her art. Her sentences are like gunshots, deadly and direct, yet oh so beautiful.Molly Crabapple is a hard woman to pin down. There’s both an artist’s naiveté and a sex worker’s cynicism to her worldview. She abhors authority and imbues all under dogs with heightened nobility. On one hand, she’s an artistic firebrand, on the other, an innocent ingénue frequented by sudden tears when sexually threatened that stop men dead in their tracks. One moment she is vulnerable and insecure, the next, full of a hero’s courage (or foolishness depending on your perspective), venturing beyond safe boundaries to draw a picture of a castle she once saw in a book. No box can hold her. She is Pandora.This book shocked me. A fire chief once said, “I haven’t seen everything, but I’ve seen enough,” and I thought that applied to me as well. As a firefighter/paramedic in Miami Dade for over a decade, I’ve seen my share of shootings, stabbings, domestics, and drug overdoses. I’ve traveled extensively. I thought I was rather worldly, (hah! What did I know!) but after reading Drawing Blood, I feel like a sheltered, isolated square--"vanilla,” as the Porn goddess Stoya might say. Molly Crabapple is a rainbow and her world was brand new to me. Nowhere near as physically violent as the one I’m used to, but sexually and emotionally? . . . very possibly. I inhaled the first part of the book, full of travels to Paris (Molly was a tumbleweed at Shakespeare & Co!) and Morocco, which were familiar places to me, but then came the long middle, which thrust me into an entirely foreign zone. New York. Nude Modeling. Burlesque. The Box. Crabapple depicts her life in the City hustling as an artist, struggling to survive, modeling for the Suicide Girls, and always, always, practicing her art, drawing everywhere, everyday, all the time until eventually she breaks through earning a gig drawing for the most decadent night club in town—the Box. The BOX. How to describe the Box? I won’t. You’ll have to read Drawing Blood for that. But, this world is unchartered territory. I’d never make it through the line, not to mention land on the list. 20,000 dollars for a booth! In a nightclub! It felt dirty and dizzying, outrageously over the top, and Molly’s journey here extended longer than I hoped, yet I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the page. I read this book in two days, all through work, on the way to calls, in between calls, avoiding boring Internet classes I was supposed to be completing on Dive Rescue and Wildland Firefighting. They seemed so dry compared to Crabapple’s tales of the Box and it’s hard working, hardened performers enacting insanely violent and sexual acts on stage (if I saw it in a movie I would never believe it) while she furiously draws away in a corner, capturing as much as she can, then stumbling home exhausted and drawing even more before the dream dissipates with the coming dawn. While I loved the writing here, I didn’t always share Crabapple’s vision. I tried to grasp her empowered view of sex workers (was that what she was trying to suggest, there is an empowerment to their work?—I’m still not sure), but I didn’t see it. Two sisters f*cking each other with glass dildos on a stage in front of drunken wall street millionaires seems more demeaning than empowering to me. And to read of a woman masturbating with a butcher knife, (secretly dulled thank god!) blood and all, while club goers (pigs as Crabapple gleefully depicts them in her drawings) gawk at her—I don’t see the empowerment in that either. Perhaps it’s a performance and I’m taking it to literally. Maybe Crabapple isn’t talking about empowerment at all, maybe she’s trying to convey something else, but if so, I could never quite grasp it. And I wanted to. I want to understand. It’s possible I’m simply too biased, or maybe, she hasn’t yet developed the literary skill to convey the tricky things she wants to say in words. Her pictures do it intensely, capturing the power of the performer on stage, always elevated and untouchable, with a haughty subversive angle to their limbs, while drunken animals gaze lasciviously up at them from the outside looking in. One thing Crabapple makes clear: sex workers aren’t the helpless victims I’ve imagined them to be; many of them direct and manufacture their careers in very intentional ways. These aren’t orphaned waifs; they’re fierce individuals, tough as silicone with their own vicious sisterhood. Take for example, Suicide Girls. Unfortunately, their living is not an easy or rich one, which may be why they seem so incredibly contemptuous of the very people they need to survive, wealthy males with disposable incomes.After the Box, Crabapple longs for something more meaningful and finds it in the Occupy Movement camped out in a park a few blocks from her apartment, aiming to hold Wall Street accountable for its crimes. While this was interesting, Crabapple’s view of the police came off childlike and one-dimensional. She paints cops with strokes so broad they’re mere slashes across the page. She depicts them as thieves and uses words like “murderers” and “rapists” and says that during one protest they would hit anyone who got too close. It’s as if they’re mindless Stormtroopers, blindly controlled by government.“There is a universal vindictiveness to the way governments destroy protest cities. They speak of them as disease vectors—as dirt. Amid the tents grows something so dangerous that no seeds must be allowed to remain.As the police pillaged, seventy protesters—among Occupy’s most devoted—remained inside the park. They knew the raid was coming, and they’d known what they’d do when it came. The protesters surrounded the soup kitchen at the center of Zuccotti. They sat down, and they linked arms.The cops went in with batons.” (271)Crabapple and I have different perspectives. I don’t know anyone from NYPD (although they do have a reputation) but I’ve worked with cops from Miami-Dade (once the high-velocity gun shot capital of the U.S.) and Homestead (in 2014 deemed one of the most dangerous cities in the country), and they are far from the heartless creatures Crabapple depicts. Aggressive? Yes. Social activists? Generally not, but I’ve seen them buy homeless families food at Publix with money out of their own pockets. They pull violent men off girlfriends and wives while onlookers stand by on a pretty regular basis, and I’d hate to see a day in Dade County without them. I’m continually amazed at the danger they put themselves in. This year, Homestead police rescued a young woman and her little boy from an intruder in their house who broke in with the intention of killing them both. He restrained the woman, but the boy hid and called 911. Police responded and the intruder greeted them with a gunfight in the kitchen. The woman and her son were rescued, (the perpetrator killed) but these stories rarely make the news. As my truck arrived, I saw men who’ve had my back for years, standing on the side of the road in the dark, faces drawn and pale, relieved, I’m sure, to be alive. I also knew an officer who was shot through the head with an AK47 by a man he’d attempted to pull over on a traffic stop. Officer Somohano (37yo) was always friendly when he ran calls with us. The rookie who responded with him was shot in the leg. The perpetrator (with a long record) blew a hole through the rookie’s femur, ending her career before it really began. (Thankfully, she lived.) These stories make the news briefly and then are quickly dropped. Most police officers aren’t adept at writing books or telling their own stories, but I remember. An officer once told me, “If I use my weapon, it’s not because I want to kill anyone. It’s because I want to go home.” I thought Crabapple’s depiction of them thinly drawn. She seems to hate cops and that’s her prerogative, but I’d love to see her do ride time with the NYPD for a week. Then she might see them with the same detail and specificity in which she sees her sex worker friends. Both groups are often seen as caricatures. It’s Molly Crabapple’s job to see beyond the generalizations. She’s done it so well with the one group, perhaps it’s time she try with the other.Ms. Molly reminds me of a reverse image of Chris Kyle’s American Sniper. This petite, beautiful artist is opposite him in almost every way—physically, politically, creatively—and yet she shares the same black and white flashes of certainty, the same rigid unyielding of opinion, albeit on the far opposite side of the fence. For a woman so worldly, she can come across as childishly naïve. And, for an artist so adept at detail and complexity, her renderings of situations can be strangely simplistic. Take the young man in Guantanamo she champions. At 22, Nabil Hadjarab an Algerian, left France to travel to Afghanistan. Crabapple writes sparingly about him, offering us little of his story although she’s written about him in other venues, and based on her brief synopsis I was a little confused. Was I supposed to feel sympathy for a man who left his country to fight in Afghanistan because he was only 22 at the time? Crabapple doesn’t explain, and I didn’t feel I should have to venture outside this book in order to understand. She’s staking a claim here in Drawing Blood and she should support it. She suggests a travesty of justice has occurred, which since an American institution has held a prisoner for 11 years without trial or charge, I can’t argue with. However, I couldn’t bring myself to share her sympathetic outrage, not when she glosses over his story in a few paragraphs. What was he doing in Afghanistan at the height of Taliban and Al Qaeda plotting during 9/11? Sightseeing? And if he was still being held in Guantanamo despite being cleared five years earlier, perhaps she might want to go into a little more detail about his situation. But she doesn’t. Beside my locker in the bay of our fire station, rests an unworn set of bunker gear including boots, pants, a jacket and helmet. Above it on a metal shelf, rests a dedication to Marine Corporal Christian Guzman who died in Afghanistan. A picture shows him in the mountains squinting into the sun. He barely looks 18. He was 21. Guzman lived in our station’s territory and dreamed of becoming a firefighter. He graduated the fire academy before his deployment, hence the dedication at our station. Despite his youth, he lived (and died) by the decisions he made and so must Nabil Hadjarab. And if I’m wrong and he never did serve with Al Qaeda or the Taliban, (why then go to Afghanistan?) Crabapple hasn’t made this clear at all and that’s her job. Perhaps she’s saving that for another book. She was in New York the day the twin towers came down and so it surprises me that she expresses so little emotion when gazing upon Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of that event, at his trail in Guantanamo (she covers this briefly in the book as well). I sometimes feel that Crabapple champions the underdog simply because they ARE an underdog. That’s not enough for me. Not all underdogs are innocent or helpless. Maybe it all comes down to perspective. It’s different when you actually know a person. Police and veterans are real to me because I know them. Porn stars and prisoners are real to Crabapple because she knows their stories and sees their humanity. Fortunately, we have literature and art to traverse the gap in our knowledge and experience. Thank god for that.Ultimately, Drawing Blood is a story far more artistic than political. This is an artist’s journey. One that reveals in glimmering prose and pictures how a very poor girl with little formal education carved out a life in the arts. I really wish she would have spent more time on her writing career. In only a few pages she’s suddenly writing for the Guardian and Paris Review. (How does that happen! Probably another book in there.) How did she come to have a book deal after writing “seriously” for only a few years? No doubt, it’s because her art, entwined the way it is with her words, is so utterly captivating and unique. Which brings me to my rating. Why five stars despite my criticisms? Because I loved this book. Because I couldn’t put it down. Because it is so physically gorgeous. Because Molly Crabapple is young and brave and writes and draws her soul out even if I don’t always like what she has to say. Because there is a beauty and hope to her vision, fueled by a ferociously sublime imagination that the world desperately needs. Because even when I don't agree with her, I’ll sure as hell keep reading. As I came to the end of Drawing Blood I scribbled a simple note. It read:Writing that Blazes. Art that Shines.

  • Elise Ozarowski
    2019-04-22 00:02

    I knew this would be a staff pick for me well before page 100. This is one of those books that caught my attention fast and hard. The cover caught my attention as I shelved it. I see hundreds of books everyday, but this one just begged to be read. On the clock, there really isn't time to peruse the shelves, so I didn't even have time to read the flap copy fully. Still, I'm so happy I bought this book. First off, it's a book that reminds you of the fact that books are investments in a sense. They are objects, and they should be beautiful in their own right. Molly Crabapple's status as an artist makes that idea all the more important. The end papers are gorgeous too. You can tell that the designer and Crabapple worked hard on every detail, and I really appreciated it.Moving on to what's in the book. Molly Crabapple has accomplished something pretty significant and incredibly difficult. She touches on many polarizing subjects throughout Drawing Blood, yet her writing never feels preachy. Could that be because I agree with her on essentially everything she wrote on? Absolutely. Still, I found it impressive how she never felt condescending when she clearly knows so much about topics of which I know little. Rather, her descriptions on the Occupy movement were accessible. Her language was always appropriate for the subject, using higher diction when necessary, but sticking mostly to lower diction and conversational tones. Additionally, I was impressed with how many topics she touched on. Her art functioned as the connective tissue for all the different parts of her life she drew: the sex trade, 9/11, feminism, Occupy, Guantanamo, traveling, and the recession, among other topics. If you told me all of those elements could live within one book successfully, I would not believe you, but here I am, sitting in my bed, just having read the exact book to accomplish that feat.On a line by line basis, Crabapple is a gorgeous writer. She flexes different muscles depending on the topic at hand. She can be tragically romantic or precisely journalistic. Through it all, her art makes this memoir stand out as one I'm sure I won't forget. When I read Jonathon Safron Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, I loved the book, but I found myself skimming over the graphics a bit. I know from friend's stories that that was not the case for everyone, but I guess I tend to shy away from illustration and graphics in longer works. But in this one I found myself studying each image, eyes darting around to new, undiscovered details, trying to absorb it. I loved how Crabapple's illustrative style carried through the novel, bringing the different pieces together and always feeling appropriate for the accompanying writing.So basically, this is one of the freshest, most relevant memoirs of our current time, and one that has so many access points. I came for the art, but I know others who might have more interest in the activism. This is a book that I'm not shy about recommending because I think it manages to make bold statements yet has the power to please a crowd. Add the sex appeal of nude modeling, and there's not much more a reader could want.A few of my favorite lines:"After, I lay on the floor with my eyes closed, imagining each moment with Anthony falling over me like a snowflake. Some were as innocent as water. Others were acid. I wondered how they would burn.""We love the violence in others that we cannot do ourselves. We imagine what it would be like to be that brave."The entire section from page 169-170. She switches to the second person and it WORKS."Humbert's words felt as real for a nightclub as for a girl." (If you love Lolita, you will LOVE the reference in this section.)Check out the illustration on page 250 if you're in a bookstore because it gives a great idea of her activist artwork."Time has to pass. And you have to look into what comes next, after ecstasy, with courage and clear eyes and a taste for infinite hard work.""It couldn't speak, only gesture. In that moment, I hated the muteness of art."Please read this book. You will love it, I promise. (That's bold, but I think I'm right.)

  • JonathanMcGaha
    2019-04-08 19:29

    Molly Crabapple's art is entrancing.I first learned of Molly through Dr. Sketchy's. I knew nothing of her life before, and knew nothing of her aside from her founding of the anti-art school, but upon seeing her work online I was fascinated.Molly Crabapple's art is difficult to describe. Her human forms, no matter how stylized or caricature demonstrate an understanding of anatomy so strongly-disciplined that it seems automatic, but as you follow the line of a thigh and up around a hip, it will suddenly swoop into the abstract, to emphasize the idea she has of the person serving as her subject, not to just reflect the subject's appearance. She'll travel from strong, defined lines around a breast to a minimalist representation of feathers, which serves to communicate just as well the lightness of the feather as her careful anatomical knowledge does the beautifully-rendered face about which they hang. Her work is dappled with ink spots and splashes of warm color with the seeming-carelessness of a well-practiced hand.Why so much about her art? Isn't this a memoir? What I wrote above is my impression of a single piece of art on one page of this book. Every chapter has pages festooned pieces with Molly's art, itself artfully arranged, bringing the text which surrounds it to life.Molly Crabapple's memoir, and its use of her art, fits well with how she wrote it. Her stories of her life are written from the remembrance of a person holding a sketchbook. Her story is heartfelt and honest in the kind of apparent way which a genuine thought carries with it onto the page. The book also shows the fascinating way in which we see ourselves doesn't reflect the way others see us. Molly describes herself as meek, while telling stories of traveling alone across Europe in her late teens and early 20s. Molly describes herself as a cynic while everything in her story demonstrates her to be a heartfelt optimist who, like so many, wraps herself in the self-protective blanket of trying desperately to expect the worst.I read this book because I wanted to know more about this artist I've grown to so respect and adore. Her stories of her work are infatuating, and her remembrances of her life are full of the kinds of observations which great artists make reflexively.Can't recommend this book highly enough.

  • Murtaza
    2019-04-24 20:09

    I really enjoyed this book, by someone who is both a great writer and artist, and who managed to create a book that is both beautifully written and beautifully illustrated by their own hand. Its not easy to write a memoir when you're still young, but in this case there was enough material to tell a compelling story that is both a coming-of-age type thing as well as social commentary on the revolutionary events of the past several years. The best parts in my opinion were the story of the author's childhood and how she ended up going down an atypical life path (I always like people who mention how much their lives were changed due to books, because I can very deeply relate), as well as the triggers for the fierce political awakening in later years. There is also a lot of insight into the economics and mechanics of sex work, something which to be honest I was almost completely oblivious to before and had not thought about much, but the author articulated in a very confident and forthright way and helped challenge my own biases and preconceptions on the subject. Reading the book I also realized how small the community of writers and activists are because towards the end 90% of the people's names being mentioned were people whom I myself personally know. For this reason it kind of felt like an ode to a specific time and place and group of people at certain parts - which may have caused it to resonate with me more than it would someone else - but which I ultimately uspect is still broad enough for anyone to appreciate.I'm really glad I got this book because the author is someone I very much respect and admire, but also because its nice to see such a unique and thoughtful book which also happens to be a beautiful piece of visual art as well. There are not many people who are such prolific writers, artists and truly inspiring activists as well too, this book is a really great encapsulation of the message of its author (as I understand it from following her for many years) and I hope a prelude to future work talking about the even more amazing stuff she's done since the period documented therein.

  • Anna
    2019-04-17 18:03

    Whilst browsing in a charity shop, my eye was caught by the cover of ‘Drawing Blood’ (presumably a reference to the Poppy Z. Brite vampire novel of the same name?). It is a very striking cover and I’d heard of Molly Crabapple on the internet, so I decided to give it a try. The book is a memoir, with sketches and paintings sprinkled throughout. I like Crabapple’s art style, which has an agreeable neo-Victorian way about it. Her confessional prose style, however, I was less comfortable with. Reading the book felt voyeuristic at times, although I guess that is always a risk of reading memoirs. (Now that I think about it, that’s probably why I don’t read a great many of them.) I suppose the point is that Crabapple has made her living baring her body and soul; my discomfort is a judgement on me, not her. She is an interesting writer and her story illuminates the economics of art in the 21st century. The most memorable parts concern the 2011 Occupy protests, which erupted while she was employed painting murals in a nightclub frequented by the 1%. Her life in the arty demimonde of New York and elsewhere is also a rather fascinating case study of internet fame. EDIT: To be fair, I might have been less guarded about this book if I hadn't read it when I should really have been doing a job application. Thus guilt lurked at the back of my mind throughout and Molly Crabapple's colourful arty world seemed profoundly alien. Procrastination by reading only works if the book manages to blot out everything else in your head.

  • Natalie S.
    2019-04-05 19:22

    Molly Crabapple is a badass who has lived a lot of life. I picked up this book because I know her essays, which are sharp and imaginative, though Drawing Blood focuses more on her path as a visual artist. The most striking parts of this memoir are about what it means to be a woman: being alone in your own body, finding the raw strength that transforms that vulnerability into power. Also, btw, the illustrations in Drawing Blood are incredible. Definitely a book that should be given away and not left to sit on a shelf

  • Annalee
    2019-03-31 22:07

    Hey, Crabapple, your neurosis is showing. Everything I read I thought to myself, "This is complete bullshit. Nothing adds up, why does this book read/sound utterly fabricated?" Needless to say, I had an increasingly hard time believing what I was reading. She's bratty, misunderstood, reclusive, introverted?, a misfit (re: GOTH). She can't seem to pass her simple high school classes, ditches class constantly, gets horrible/non passing grades, gets herself expelled from school- yet she paints herself (no pun intended) as absolutely brilliant (calls herself a genius more than once- by the way, who does that?!) and even graduates from high school early. W H A T ?? In a nut shell: "I read books, learned a few new languages in my (very short) spare time, traveled the world, drawing comes natural to me- my mom was an artist before computers were invented… " Also, "I'm so broke, I'm literally living in poverty. I shop at exclusively at Goodwill and the dollar stores. I live in a one room apartment with two other people, we all share a room which we divide up with curtains and sleep on mattress on the floor. I live off of Snickers bars, as I cannot afford food while at school. I can't afford art school supplies to make my art. I'm so poor I can't go to the art school that I want to. I thought I looked pretty in my Goodwill dress, everyone else made me feel like I looked cheap. I was too broke to buy a good purse (apparently ever in my life) so I stowed my pens in a box from the dollar store…that I then carried with me to the club." Followed by: "I spent six months in Europe. I spent three months in Turkey. I spent a month in Morocco." Paraphrased, of course, but you get the idea. "He ordered hills of French fries for the both of us, so I didn't have to pay for food." That's a direct quote. Seriously?! Which is it, Crabapple? Are you too poor to afford a decent place to live and quality nutrition? Or are you out there doodling in the streets while living abroad to pass the time? Or… are you just a moocher? Later on she's spending $900 on a pair of shoes just because someone cut her a check for seven grand? Sounds like you need to take a money management class, Jennifer/Molly. I get it. I mean, Crabapple is almost one year my senior. If I received an inheritance at age 17-18 I probably, more than likely, would not have spent it on college. Or in the least, school supplies. I totally would've said, "A solo trip to Europe? Don't mind if I do!" But in the same breath, let's not whine about being broke throughout the entire book just because you have money management problems. She can't even get her story straight about the people who she spends her time with. Take "Russell", for example. "I couldn't wait to see him. (Was with him for 5 minutes) I hated him. I admired him. I hate him. (Spent a month with him) I adored him. I envied him. (He leaves) I'd outgrown him."Whoa, Molls! You're giving me whiplash there! That's all on one very short chapter, folks. Paraphrased: "As soon as I came back home from my months vacation in Morocco, I took to the streets in protest! I marched in New York City… and, conveniently, in DC. Running from the cops is SUCH an adrenaline rush. Some guy yelled at me that I should be raped because I was protesting. We took charge! Anti war! Middle America hated us but we yelled right back! We unhinged the barricades and leapt into the streets. We ran, outflanking the cops! At one rally I sketched this and made it into an assignment for FIT. You know, that piece of shit art school I attend. Because this is totally a believable story. I attend college classes and attend protests rallies in two different major US cities after class all whilst being completely dirt poor." B U L L S H I T. Nah, you didn't! You know what that reads as? From an outsiders POV. Like she witnessed this type of protest stuff going down on tv or online, took notes, and added it to her story. Then again… you know, to be fair, let's give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she did attend a protest. Or -maybe she's just like everyone else, and made some sort of social media post about the protest but wasn't actually involved in one. Good for you, Jennifer. I'm glad you have political opinions and have the right to voice them. You go, Glenn Coco. That, is way more likely than whatever I just wasted my time reading. How about the backhanded compliment she gives journalists? Anyone else read that online interview? "I have such respect for freelance writers… but I couldn't do it … it [their work] seems incredibly hard and precarious." Precarious. Nice. Yet she paints herself (no pun intended) as a fearless woman who braved the HELL that is ISIS-plagued territory to report on the plight of Syrian refugees. She's staring into the eyes of a [alleged] killer in Guantánamo Bay while she sketched him. Not to mention other similar stories that were written for the prestigious VICE magazine. *rolling eyes so hard the retinas detach*Speaking of backhanded compliments. She goes in great lengths to praise a fellow, and more successful, Suicide Girl's artwork as well as her physical appearance, but tops it off with "…face covered in acne scars that is heavily caked with foundation." What a bitch. She then goes on to bash this person, airing out this other girl's dirty laundry for the world because deep down she's jealous as hell. Come to find out, they had a falling out. Ahhh, now it all makes sense. Nothing written about this benefits Crabapple or her work in any way. It has nothing to do with the story as a whole. But, nonetheless, she decide to include it in the book. She seems to belittle others, in almost every chapter, in an attempt to validate herself. Psssst, Crabapple, you're narcissism is showing. Reader observation: backtracking a bit, during the unnecessarily lengthy chapters about her time spent stripping, porn, "modeling", and burlesque. She claims she, "didn't do it for the money. I did it to prove to myself…" No. No, you did it for the money. Or for attention. I'd bet it was for money though. Kind of like the reason for writing this book. $Money$I'm not judging you, Jennifer. I'm just saying…Reader observation: in one chapter she mentions that she hasn't been in a fight/hit someone since junior high or the equivalent. But somewhere around 50 pages before THAT statement, she says that someone (a roommate?) smarted off to her or said something rude and she hit them so hard that they had to pick themselves up off the floor. Contradiction much? Also, she repeatedly states that she's too either insecure or shy to start a conversation with someone (who she wants to speak to) or try to befriend them, even muttering a simple "thank you" or "Hello" is too much and the words get caught up in her throat and come out as a mumbled squeak. Yet she has no problem (allegedly) physically shoving people out of her way, including heiresses who "stole her seat", dangling shoes inches away from a salesman's face who "ignored" her, or yelling a myriad of passive-aggressive things at someone invading her space. Including a client who became unsatisfied with her work, asked for a change. She did the utmost mature thing by CC'ing everyone at said company, directly involved or not, and demanded her [previous] work be removed from their brand. Even if the client is in the wrong, you do not act the way she did. That's smart business 101. Also, you might not want to put them on blast in your "memoir", just saying. You start to pick up a pattern with Molly. Any one person or persons, or any brand, she goes in lengths to write about, you know said relationship is going to turn sour. Typical narcissistic behavior. Everything she writes reads like a bad movie script. Example, straight from the book: "We piled into the graffiti-encrusted bathroom. The gallery owner [placed cocaine on the back of the toilet] We each did one [line]. I lowered my head. The line vanished. Bitterness bled down my throat. "Clean your nose", he ordered. "You don't want to look like a… coke whore."" And scene. Someone gift her a thesaurus for Christmas, "Graffiti-encrusted". Encrusted? Later, she proclaims that dressing in drag-queenesque makeup and corsets while serving candies on a tray was a Sisyphean task. Really? Are you sure about that? Serving candy on a tray is laborious and painstakingly difficult? Much like pushing a boulder uphill for eternity. Why yes, Molly, we all agree- serving candy on a tray whilst dressed up in heels and corsets is just far too painstakingly difficult. (You were kidding, right?)Crabapple fancies herself as a modern day Toulouse-Lautrec. So much so, that she's written it in the dialogue of her characters. More than once, what a coincidence! "We've always wanted our own Toulouse-Lautrec." "Who's that? She's our Toulouse-Lautrec!" Said no one ever. "Le Petomane! Yessss! No one has ever gotten that reference. Your are brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant! Ohh gorgeous, gorgeous!" More made up dialogue. Aside from the completely, blatantly, fabricated tales contained in this book, the other thing that bothered me was the overkill of rape-culture stories. That's something, by the way, that should not be taken lightly or joked about. Every single man she comes in contact with, whether it was a conversation, a peer, some random person who she *almost* made eye contact with at the bus/train/airplane/bar/club/street/school/protests/"photo shoots"/show/job site/random place she traveled to… wanted to fuck her. Her words. No doubt about it, Ooooh you betcha. They ALL want a piece of her. "I could tell he was eye fucking me." "I bet he went home and thought about me while he masturbated." "He placed a hand on my shoulder, I thought he was going to rape me." "Just because I'm in the SEX business, does NOT mean…" Bitch… please. I'm just going to stop right here before I get on a tangent. Here is yet another example of her lies… According to Crabapple, poor people seemingly only shop at Goodwill and the dollar store. I mean, hey, that's where she does all of her shopping, and she's Sooooo poor! And she looks so cheap while doing it, what with her Wet N Wild shellacked lips and dollar store lingerie. Get the fuck out of here with your pretentious stereotypes, Molly. Your contradictions mock you. You've gotta try harder than that to make anyone believe that shit. I stopped caring about finishing this book once I reached the chapters on OWS. A quote from the acknowledgements, "… every memoir is both a lie and a betrayal of other people's memories. I apologize for all I've gotten wrong." Like I previously stated, Crabapple is one year my senior. This book clearly isn't a memoir. You can gather that much about it from the information it contains. It's more like a diary of someone with narcissistic personality disorder who also happens to be a pathological liar. At best, she is a highly imaginative storyteller. Albeit a piss-poor one. I wanted to love this book. So much so. When I read an excerpt from LitHub about the part where she's traveled to Paris and living in a bookstore, I was hooked. I wanted to know more. I wanted to really like this Molly Crabapple person. I've never been SO DISAPPOINTED in a book in my entire life. I could give two figs about Molly Crabapple and I hope her little 15 minutes of fame comes to a halt quite soon. I took breaks, while reading this garbage, to do a bit of research. Not only on Crabapple herself, but the far fetched tales she's spinning in this book. I came across quite a few reviews similar to this one I've written, in regards to calling out her bullshit. I also came across a few reviews validating those reviews. Two from people who were at Shakespeare and Co during the time she was there, as well as comments from a couple of people who were mentioned in her book. Research yourself, I implore you, but I'll save you some time. Every review, from those who were there, all said the majority of her stories (or, in one case, a story they were involved in but not directly mentioned) are completely fabricated. Basically, Molly Crabapple is a sociopath. The thing that gets me the most, besides the fact that most of you (mind blown) generously rated this 4-5 stars, is that this book is being compared to Patti Smith's award winning memoir, Just Kids. Which, by the way, Crabapple must have been heavily influenced by as she tries ever so desperately, in a half-ass attempt, to rip Smith off. via GIPHYGive me a fucking break.

  • Kendra Goldberg
    2019-04-27 00:20

    I stumbled into this book by accident when browsing my local library's E-reader selection. First off, I 100% do not recommend using an E-reader for this book. It does not do justice to the illustrations and art that are a significant part of the narrative of this autobiography as Molly is an artist. I am definitely planning on getting a copy of the hardcover edition someday to add to my personal library in large part because of Molly Crabapple's beautiful art. This book is great if you consider yourself a feminist, feminist-punk or are a fan of the alt-art scene, burlesque or for anyone with a soft spot for Moulin Rogue era Paris and absinthe. It is visceral, it is fierce and throughout there is a simmering righteous anger against so much of the injustice that has dominated the world as I've experienced in my lifetime as well. It is interesting to read such a recent autobiography of someone from my generation, and to hear the stories of Occupy Wall Street and Hurricane Sandy from a New Yorker who was there for all of it. I was really inspired by the intensity that Molly has for her art. It made me want to work harder, and strive bigger in my own artistic endeavors. She truly gives everything to her art and sacrifices so much of her life and body to achieve her dream. I was happy to read this book knowing she has now "made it", but there is a violence to the path she had to trod in order to get there that can be difficult to read.

  • Muhammad Ahmad
    2019-04-19 00:09

    A riveting memoir by the incomparable Molly Crabapple. As a portrait of the artist as a young woman, this surpasses Patti Smith's "Just Kids" since unlike Smith, whose stories are brought to life by celebrity cameos, Crabapple's is made compelling by the earthiness of the mostly ordinary people and their various personal or political struggles. Where Smith's book is insular, at times parochial, MC's scope is broader, ranging from the deeply personal to the global and political. The stories are presented as a succession of vignettes crafted with the same attention detail that is characteristic of MC's art. (The book is illustrated with some of her finest artwork). Once you pick it up, you'll find it impossible to put down.

  • Leah Cooper
    2019-03-29 17:20

    This is definitely not a book I would have selected had it not been a book club selection. But there are positive things I can say about this book and its author. Molly Crabapple became exposed to a hard world at a young age, yet she found beauty in it. Not only was she able to bring that out in her art (the "drawing" part of the title), but she was able to so in her prose. She has managed to make an impact on those around her, and constantly works to expand that world. I may not agree with her, but my understanding has been broadened.

  • Karen
    2019-03-30 22:10

    I loved this book. Molly Crabapple is an inspiration both in regards to her art, her politics and the way she makes meaning of both. Scattered with her own illustrations, on paper that makes it pop, this memoir pushes the importance of social documentary and validates drawings as a vehicle for telling the story.

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2019-04-10 18:21

    Most memoirs don't go to the level of originality that Drawing Blood does. Not only artistic and creative but also true, this book tells the reality of what living in New York City after the 9/11 terrorist attacks was like.

  • Chad Cunningham
    2019-04-01 16:20

    I love everything about this book. Molly Crabapple's passion, talent, and courage impress me to no end.

  • Amber Griffith
    2019-04-12 22:14

    This is a fantastic memoir that brings you into the author's world of self discovery without fear of how it might make you feel to read it. I won this book on a goodreads giveaway. Thank you!

  • Stephanie
    2019-03-26 22:14

    Inspirational as a memoir, it was a delight to go with Crabapple on her journeys. That delight was enough for me to overlook the writing style. Beautiful renditions of her art as well.

  • Jessica Wildfire
    2019-04-19 20:08

    I've enjoyed this memoir a lot. Molly writes well, but even more importantly she's lived a fascinating and genuine life as an artist. The thing I appreciate most? She doesn't sugar coat her experiences. The stories are great--she traveled the world at a ridiculously young age and worked as an erotic burlesque model, all while pursuing her career as an artist. The stories are great because they're full of dirt, doubt, discomfort, and desire. Her writing is full of lurid description and honesty. Anyone with creative aspirations who doesn't fit the mold should read this book. I'm only giving four stars because I don't think I've read enough to know what's perfect yet, but this is close.

  • Robin
    2019-03-26 21:09

    In Drawing Blood, Molly Crabapple depicts the arc of her career development: from young student without sufficient finances to attend the art school of her choice, to impoverished artist trying to get the attention of those who could make her a star, to emerging adult awakening to events on the larger world stage. Throughout, she shares her political and artistic development, all through the lens of class and gender.Crabapple is a fascinating person, mesmerizing artist, and capable writer. Why only three stars?For me, I think it's her worldview. She writes largely of her life as a young person in America in the 2000s, and yet she has enormously internalized a sense of women's worthlessness that is breathtaking and sad: "We were young women, at a bad school, studying for a competitive, ill-paying industry. What did we have to interest people besides our looks?" [p.80]Yes, she made money posing for artists and GWCs (guys with cameras) - far more than she could have made waiting tables or temping in one of NY's gazillion office towers. But she had so much more to offer than her nakedness and youth. Her art would have taken a different form had she not become involved in the world of sex workers, strippers, and burlesque, but how sad that she didn't think she had any other choices. Sad, because she writes of her own negative feelings and experiences with it. I would not be sad for her if she wrote about it as a sex-positive, exuberant, powerful part of her life. Again and again, she writes about being put down by the people she encountered in this part of her life.I also found myself uncomfortable with her depictions of her relationships. Where is friendship and kindness? Where is her center? In friendship after friendship, Crabapple describes competition and jealousy. In her primary romantic relationship, which she characterizes as the love of her life, she (purposely or not) repeatedly depicts a power differential. Even after years together, she still refers to that art studio as "Fred's" (not hers or theirs). She "begs" Fred to help her arrange her Shell Game works so she can look at them in their entirety. Even when describing Fred's warmth in their shared adult bed, she writes "He'd grab me, pin me down, and push himself into me. Afterward, he fell back to sleep." Presumably, this is consensual and there is love and pleasure for them both. But Crabapple has a passive and powerless way of speaking about sex and her own body, and it stays with her through this whole book."I burst into tears - not fear, but of humiliation. No matter how far I'd strained against the rules for women, I was right back in my body, this fuckable, vulnerable shell.I would never have the right to travel or take up space. At best, I'd be tolerated by someone who'd demand sex as payment the second we were alone." [p.47]"When I thought of every proposition or threat that I got just walking down the street in my girl body, I decided I might as well get paid for the trouble." [p. 88]"Any strawberry picker will tell you that hard work is a road to nowhere." [p.98]"Most career breaks come this way. Talent is essential, but cash buys the opportunity for that talent to be discovered. To pretend otherwise is to spit in the face of every broke genius. I am good, but it was never just about being good. It was about getting noticed." [p.99]". . . abortion was for stupid girls, teens who didn't know how babies were made, not clever girls like me. This passivity is baked into the grammar: "impregnated," "knocked up." Yet no matter how free or clever I believed myself, there I was. Knocked up." [p.110]"I forced myself to comply. When the media reports that a suspect in custody was killed after resisting arrest, they never tell you how hard it is to assist passively with your own kidnapping. They never talk about the discipline it takes to submit." [p. 289]"Occupy Wall Street taught some middle-class white people what poor people and people of color already know: the law is a hostile and arbitrary thing. Speak loudly, stand in the wrong place, and you can end up on the wrong side of it." [p.292]This is a confessional book, but also showy. At some point, it began to feel like a put-on, like she was pretending to share the truth with readers but was really winking or snickering behind their backs. She writes for so long about 'not being good enough' - The same story over and over. Finally, with her experiences beginning with the Occupy Wall Street movement, Crabapple beings to show some maturity, perspective, and growth. I am eager to seek out her art and writings from that period. Advertised as a work about a political artist, this book begins and ends with stories from her work interviewing and drawing at the Guantanamo Bay detention center. I wish that this section was longer and the other parts were truncated. Also, the reproductions of her artworks were maddeningly small. A larger format book would have done her better justice.

  • karenbee
    2019-04-01 22:22

    I generally read memoirs or biographies by or about people who are very much NOT ME, poets/writers/artists, professional comedians, soldiers, chefs, actors; in that regard, Drawing Blood is familiar territory for me. I don't have the temperament, talent, or really any inclination to be Molly Crabapple. Her life sounds like a lot of work, and I'm very lazy.As for the rest of it . . . I don't know. I have about eight tabs related to Crabapple's work and life open right now, because despite the fact that I just finished an ENTIRE BOOK about her life, I still don't feel like I "know" Crabapple, not even in the sense of knowing someone through their words.Aside from some more diary-like childhood/teenager-hood talk of "shyness" etc. that seems contradicted by the content of the rest of the book and the fact that her network of friends, acquaintances, and business associates is so large I'd need a flowchart or an annotated cast of characters to keep them straight, the text lands closer to a career overview than an in-depth autobiography. Maybe that's why. Maybe "Molly Crabapple" is a persona, a construct, and the sometimes-shallow effect is intentional. Or it might just be that she's done a lot and wanted to cover it all in this book, so she didn't have time or space to get too far into what makes her tick. Whatever the reason, I enjoyed reading the stories in Drawing Blood; it's just that in hindsight I feel like the person behind the stories is a little slippery.Moving on: this is an illustrated memoir, which is awesome. I originally heard of Crabapple through a set of illustrations she did for BPAL, but I hadn't seen much of her other work. I liked having easy access to her illustrations while reading her stories, even though it turns out her stuff isn't really my style. Despite not clicking with most of her artwork, I LOVED reading about her "Shell Game" exhibition toward the back of the book. She more or less describes the creation process for a few of the paintings, accompanied by copies of them; this was my favorite part of the whole book. I'm sure I should probably find the sexy parts more interesting but nah.I think people who are more into the world of burlesque, or have heard of the Box, or know more about Crabapple/NYC's alternative art scene than I did going in -- those readers would get a lot more out of Drawing Blood. I liked it well enough, and I want to read more about "Shell Game," but as a memoir it felt more like flash than substance to me.*************P.S. This has nothing to do with the meat of the book or my enjoyment thereof but I cackled when I read the advance praise on the back of the hardcover I'd borrowed from the library because this book, by someone who describes herself as a feminist multiple times, has five blurbs from dudes on the back. A couple of them are dudes I know/like but still: five blurbs, all dudes.

  • L.A.
    2019-04-21 23:30

    Portrait of the artist as an evolving creative consciousness and justice advocate.If you don't know from Molly Crabapple, you probably don't pay attention to the social justice parts of the internet. Known primarily for her gorgeous art/journalism projects, Crabapple is also a fierce writer who delivers here a memoir that will resonate with many creative women, especially the up-and-comers. Like most artistically gifted kids, Crabapple didn't fit all too well into the standard educational model, which led to boredom and acting out. Art school, too, proved unsatisfactory. Travel had a broadening effect on her, and set the scenes for things to come years later. But first, Crabapple had to do what every young woman who makes art has to do: figure out how to succeed within the confines of a system that values her tits more than her technique.This book is punk as fuck, and, as such, will appeal to those whose sympathies already lie with the underdog. Although the writing is tight, it's also dreamy and sensuous in passages, much like her art, which liberally graces the pages of the book. Sex work and workers, student protests in London and Greece, the occupation of Zuccoti park during the original Occupy movement, and Guantanamo Bay are just a few of the scenes through which Crabapple leads you. There's also a lot of typical insecure young person bumbling around to get through, but unlike most young people's memoirs, Crabapple's early experiences are filled with travel, risk-taking and adventure. She doesn't always know what the hell she's doing, but she never lets that stop her, and it' awesome.This is one of those books that just keeps getting better as it goes along. The narrative voice gets stronger and more confident as Crabapple learns to take her experiences and use them to perfect both her art and her character. Her budding social justice consciousness is level-headed, and she knows how to be aware of her privilege without sounding like a pretentious jackass. Although she could have ended on the triumph note of her brilliant painting series, Shell Game, she uses it as a springboard to just keep getting better and better as an artist and, eventually, journalist. It's incredibly empowering for me as an adult, so I can only imagine how it will seem to teens and new adults (the fancy library jargon for "twentysomethings" these days).In a time when the conventional American dream is pretty much down the shitter for millennials, Drawing Blood offers a different kind of coming-of-age narrative for misfit kids, the adults who love them, and the cranky old-schoolers who remember being young and hungry. Or, as I so often like to put it, sold to the lady in black.

  • Amanda Rose
    2019-04-21 21:13

    Where do I begin with this book? There are so many thoughts swirling around in my head, I don't think it's possible to share all of them. First off, Molly's writing style: I absolutely adore her writing style. My brain went 5,000 miles a minute when she was describing fast-paced, heavy, or tiresome events. When she slowed down, my brain slowed down. It's amazing that after reading a few fast-paced chapters, I felt exhausted right along with her. In some chapters, she was all over the place, but she made it work so eloquently that I never found myself getting lost. AND I was so happy that I only found two minor grammatical errors in the entire book (a huge pet peeve of mine). One of the reasons I was so intrigued by this book is because Molly and I are almost the exact same age, both artists, and we chose to take our skills in completely different directions. The interesting part for me, though, was that we have the same underlying end-goal - we want our art to actually mean something. I think this is true of most artists, it's just so interesting to see how each artist chooses to make a statement visually. I found myself actually learning SO much history that I was just oblivious to through Molly's art and writing, too. Probably one of my favorite parts of the whole memoir was the fact that I certainly did not agree with Molly on everything she wrote about, BUT I was able to understand and appreciate her point of view. A lot of it was really an eye-opener for me, and gave me the opportunity to expand my view of understanding and acceptance. If you're not willing to be open-minded and find yourself typically being very critical of others' opinions (on politics, social ideas, the economy, classes, etc.) than this might not be the book for you. Molly is very matter-of-fact with her opinions, and I love that about her, even if I don't always agree. Molly's art throughout the book was absolutely amazing, and took the book to a whole new dimension for me. As a visual person, it was so amazing to see her drawings alongside the events she was writing about. Lastly, as an artist, Drawing Blood, gave me SO much inspiration to expand my skills and not be scared of creating art that is very opinionated or comes from deep within me. I am actually THISCLOSE to doing something similar to her Week in Hell after being inspired by that story and the motivation it gave her to move forward. All in all, if you can put your opinions aside, appreciate the world of visual art, and want a fast-paced book that will keep you hooked, I highly recommend this book.

  • Patricia
    2019-04-24 21:08

    A quite interesting memoir with drawings about the life and career development of artist, Molly Crabapple (Jennifer Caban). Growing up on Long Island with a Jewish mother, an artist, and Puerto Rican father, an activist, she leaves at an early age to live abroad. Molly started drawing as a child and loved reading. She was drawn to the poster art of Toulouse-Lautrec. Travels brought her to Paris to live and work at the Shakespeare and Company bookstore, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Morocco. She attended art school in NYC but became restless and ultimately dropped out. She honed her skills learning from other artists and posing at an exclusive art club in NYC. She earned money by posing as an art model, posing for Guys With Camera (serious and/or amateur photographers), and doing burlesque. I found the underworld of the burlesque community to be very fascinating. Stage names, elaborate costumes and makeup, and acts. She also drew for some zines including SuicideGirls and started a company Dr. Sketchy where burlesque performers modeled for artists. The business model spread to non-U.S. locations. She gains her fame working at The Box a vogue nightclub in NYC. I found the later segment of the book when Molly becomes involved in Occupy Wallstreet to be overdone or too long. Point made. Point taken. I know she is an activist but for me this segment needed some editing. Overall I found it an interesting read and I very much enjoyed the artwork.

  • Allison Floyd
    2019-04-14 00:25

    The kind of hard candy it's fun to break your teeth on. We're not worried about nutritional content here, because (for most) candy can't be mistaken for a meal. I could expound on this, but that would probably culminate in a screed, and I'm getting to be an age where screeds grow ever-less becoming all the time. So, suffice it to say, I think the book description above raises an excellent (albeit unwitting) point: "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."....Except the era she chronicles wasn't that long ago (not to mention that most people compared to Patti Smith are not going to be on the favorable end of that comparison). The book suffers, I think, from the fact that the events it describes are too recent for it to really be possible to have any kind of historical perspective on them. And I won't even address the glaring holes in the perspective presented here. Perspective, after all, is human, and therefore fallible, so that can be forgiven to some extent, even if the perspective in question is screamingly predictable, and therefore frequently tedious. Nevertheless, Crabapple has an interesting turn of phrase, and some of the stuff in here sings. I also quite enjoyed the artwork. Now pass me the jawbreakers.

  • Hampton Stall
    2019-03-28 17:17

    I have been a fan of Molly Crapabble's work (writing and art) since she began publishing on VICE. I picked up this book on a whim in a bookstore in Brooklyn because it had been on my list since weeks before its release, because I spotted a signed copy, and because the day I went into the store was the same day that a ton of kids were in the store for a children's story reading or something and I wanted to find a reliable author and get out with something enlightening as fast as possible. I could not have anticipated this work even if I had taken a lot more thought and time to consider which book I would read next more. Molly has an incredible story and I was surprised to find just how much her voice is one that I can fully understand and feel for all that is being said. I have not at all had the same trajectory or path as Molly has, but I was thrilled to learn that we shared several methods in our art/interviews on current events. It was affirming to hear of her struggle for success in the art world, and inspiring to read of her many adventures. Really looking forward to reading what Crabapple writes next and know that my reading of her next article will be so much further enhanced by this beautiful text (and gorgeous accompanying images).

  • Brooke
    2019-04-06 18:15

    Maybe I'm just jaded, but all of her shocking bits aren't that shocking, her contributions to Occupy seem peripheral at best, her writing screams "mediocre" all over, and her drawing isn't really my thing. That said, I perfectly understand the allure of the avant garde on the young female psyche and appreciate her attempt to turn her frivolous past into something a little deeper. I just think she needed more meat in her philosophy before writing this sort of a book (note that I didn't say more 'experience' or more 'life' - I'm not belittling her ability to write a meaningful memoir in her early thirties, I'm critiquing her execution). The book is very "and then...and then..." - and I would very much rather just go and read my own goth club, dumpster diving journals, to be honest. Even if such a direct narrative wasn't present in her early life (and let's face it, life seldom has that kind of a story built in), looking back she should have been able to determine what was missing from her art and crafted more of her story around that. That sort of reflection is the best part of a memoir. This is just too much personal branding for me.

  • Heather Childers
    2019-04-10 17:24

    Such a unique and captivating take on living in the art world! I greatly enjoyed this memoir, she portrayed the triumphs and struggles that come with being an artist, beautifully. The writing was poetic yet matter-of-fact. I only had one reservation nearing the end when unfortunately the chapters turned more towards political motivation rather than insight (which she also provided but in much smaller detail). I did appreciate her accounts of the protests from a bystander (and sometimes protester) point of view, but to be so politically motivated can drive an artists work into satire, losing my attention to her art at hand. It really was only a minor difference of opinion however, nothing that would change my belief in her work personally and professionally. I can happily say that for many years, I was starved for a book much like this one, and Molly Crabapple provided that need. Thank you.