Molly Crabapple & Marwan Hisham: Syria in Ink
The Syrian teacher Marwan Hisham, writes Lindsey Hilsum, met the artist Molly Crabapple “on Twitter while he was in Raqqa and she was in New York. He would send her photographs taken with a smartphone begged from a friend, which she would transform into paintings and drawings. Their initial pieces were published in Vanity Fair. It was, as he puts it, an ‘art crime’ for which he would probably have been executed had he been discovered by ISIS. A body hanging from a lamppost, a small child with an enormous rifle, people running down a rubble-strewn street—such images rendered beautiful by the pen are disturbing. Crabapple used vibrant, sometimes lurid color in the original magazine pieces, but the black-and-white illustrations in the book, carefully blotched and smudged, invite more thought, not least the cover illustration of a violinist playing an instrument that, on closer inspection, turns out to be a Kalashnikov.”
The exhibition “Syria in Ink” coincides with the publication of Hisham and Crabapple’s new book Brothers of the Gun, reviewed in the NYR by Lindsey Hilsum. For more information, visit bklynlibrary.org.
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