Molly Crabapple's Week in Hell
December 3, 2011 5:36 AM   Subscribe

It was a simple and crazy idea: to celebrate her 28th birthday by renting a hotel room, cover it in paper and spend a week drawing on the paper. Welcome to Molly Crabapple's Week in Hell with photos of work in progress and panoramas of the completed room.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (57 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite

 
Beautiful.
posted by Fizz at 5:53 AM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Terrible things happened in that room. (Hey, I think I KNOW that guy!)
posted by ColdChef at 6:07 AM on December 3, 2011 [11 favorites]


Wow. It's like a giant, visual Lewis Carroll poem. I love it.
posted by taz at 6:09 AM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


KILL THE WORD BEAST

Great post, Brandon, thanks.
posted by mediareport at 6:14 AM on December 3, 2011


Hey, that's really cool. I wish I had a week to do nothing but draw. Mine wouldn't look that good though.
posted by S'Tella Fabula at 6:43 AM on December 3, 2011


Too excellent. Also, that's an almost perfect drawing of Neil Gaiman. He looks so real.
posted by Skygazer at 6:46 AM on December 3, 2011


Whose head is that on top of her What Is TOR? octopus? (Sup Whelk!)
posted by carsonb at 6:54 AM on December 3, 2011


GodDAMN I wish I were creative. (And 28, of course.)
posted by tristeza at 7:53 AM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


So if I'm reading the salient points correctly, she was warm, dry and comfortable for a week -- "A week filled with musicians, performers, press, absinthe and drawing" -- got to do nothing but draw on the walls, funded by a generous grant, and calls it her "week in hell". Is that about right or do I need to watch the video ('cause Photos of work in progress: "Website offline") to maybe discover she's being ironic? If not, hey... "Occupy" people. I've got an idea for you.
posted by Mike D at 7:56 AM on December 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


Whose head is that on top of her What Is TOR? octopus?

That'd be Stoya.

I'd seen bits and pieces of this (like the above link) but the whole panorama is really impressive. Cool post!
posted by mstokes650 at 7:58 AM on December 3, 2011


Mike D: Yeah, I didn't really want to be the first one to point it out, but... by my math she made a cool $5,000 a day in that horrible cushy hotel room. Sign me up for some of that hell.
posted by rusty at 8:03 AM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


The name Week In Hell is a bit of a joke, a joke everyone made cause she was sequestered in a comfy hotel hotel room with. Friends dropping by, but she was not allowed to leave the room under any circumstances for a week, and she pulled all nighters in order to cover every inch, her hand cramped up so hard so many times, the hotels don't get across how big the room one, a suite, and any surface that could be papered over, was.

Plus afterward she and I helped do quite a few OWS poster, although she's way more boots on the ground active then I am.

And on a lighter note, some photos of myself at the last night party

The three celts
Aim is important.
posted by The Whelk at 8:05 AM on December 3, 2011 [10 favorites]


And her ultimate goal was to stop feeling like she was doing rote hack work, to do something so large scale and ambitious and detailed it would break her of her existing habits and tropes and cliches, and I think it worked, the work she's doing now is a lot more personal and passionate, with lots of new things emerging in coloring and tone.
posted by The Whelk at 8:07 AM on December 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


her hand cramped up so hard so many times

Doodlin' ain't easy, yo.
posted by rusty at 8:08 AM on December 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Maybe it's hell in the Blakean sense. Probably not the Shakespearean sense.
posted by iotic at 8:08 AM on December 3, 2011


I like it!
posted by odinsdream at 8:16 AM on December 3, 2011


This reminds me of another project somewhat in the same vein. 'The Shining Mantis' visited my hometown a few months ago: KANGAROK 2020: The ICE MINES OF URBANA: The frozen yoga.
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 8:25 AM on December 3, 2011


Maybe it's hell in the Blakean sense. Probably not the Shakespearean sense.

It certainly is in the villanellesian sense.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 8:26 AM on December 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


How was the paper affixed to the walls?
posted by DU at 8:29 AM on December 3, 2011


Watch the video.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:32 AM on December 3, 2011


Very carefully if I recall, tape that could be easily removed and at strategic locations. The Prop Wizards were on hand to make sure the room was left exactly as found, complete with little cleaning kits for getting rid of marks or any possible bleed through.
posted by The Whelk at 8:33 AM on December 3, 2011


Man kickstarter is fucking awesome.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:45 AM on December 3, 2011


Somewhat off topic, and probably a stupid question, but I'll ask it anyway.

I'm assuming that panoramic sweep round the room was taken by placing a camera in the centre of the room and having it complete a full 360 degree circle. Unlike a static camera taking a conventional photo, this could not have been accomplished in a single instant. So how come we don't see the people in the photo move - even infinitesimally - between each successive "frame" of the revolving camera's progress?

I'm sure my failure to grasp this is based on either (a) my fundamental misunderstanding of how the camera technology works or (b) the fact that my brain doesn't always work as well as I'd like it to, but could someone explain? Thanks.
posted by Paul Slade at 8:52 AM on December 3, 2011


There are cameras that have lenses at intervals all the way around. And software to stitch the resulting pictures together seamlessly.
posted by DU at 8:58 AM on December 3, 2011


Miss Crabapple is awesome and I love her and I'll knifefight anyone who dares speak ill of her.
posted by ColdChef at 9:27 AM on December 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thanks DU - that makes perfect sense. Metafilter: Give us six minutes and we'll give you the answer.
posted by Paul Slade at 9:38 AM on December 3, 2011


Noted: Miss Molly says hi.
posted by ColdChef at 9:40 AM on December 3, 2011


Terrible things happened in that room. (Hey, I think I KNOW that guy!)

I prefer this one.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:41 AM on December 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Paul Slade, there are rigs made for taking those panoramas all at once using an array of cameras with wide-angle lenses.
posted by localroger at 9:49 AM on December 3, 2011


$5000 a day! Minus expenses I suppose, but jeez. Gotta love Kickstarter.
posted by Staples at 9:53 AM on December 3, 2011


I want to live in a world where there is more of this. More often. More ambitious. More.
posted by meinvt at 9:55 AM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait, someone PAID her for this? OK, now I'm just mad.
posted by tristeza at 9:57 AM on December 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Mad that someone can make money from art? Now I'm sad.
posted by mkb at 9:58 AM on December 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


This is wonderful, but I can't imagine the hotel was happy about the bed.
posted by homunculus at 10:02 AM on December 3, 2011


Back in the day, when I had a warehouse in the arts district before it became trendy, we would have massive free.for all parties. Bands would just show up and play, hundreds of people would show up, it was a blast. We covered walls with butcher paper and left art supplies everywhere. We had some amazing stuff. I still have about 10 art tubes filled with rolled up paper from those parties.

We never got a grant though, so I guess it doesn't count as art. Heh.
posted by dejah420 at 10:06 AM on December 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


You know...when Michelangelo got paid to do shit like this, he considered the ceiling a "paintable surface" as well...just saying.

I kid, this was pretty cool.
posted by reformedjerk at 10:11 AM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just so it's clear the money did not from the hotel, it came from backers who got pieces of the art or more depending on how much they backed.
posted by The Whelk at 10:16 AM on December 3, 2011


What hotel?


Is that Gaiman?? Is he only appearing in some phantasmagorical manner to me alone, in which case, neat trick, Neil.
posted by Skygazer at 10:39 AM on December 3, 2011


Wait, someone PAID her for this? OK, now I'm just mad.

Gawd, people value and pay money for stuff that I don't value. Fuck that noise.
posted by Think_Long at 10:40 AM on December 3, 2011


Pissing and moaning that people who get paid for their artistic endeavours should be targeted by OWS protestors is a manner of missing the point so spectacular that it, in itself, could only be grant-subsidized performance art.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:53 AM on December 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is both self-serving and a waste of money and talent, but so's most art. So on that level this is pretty cool. Or not.
posted by elwoodwiles at 10:58 AM on December 3, 2011


Wow, haters gotta hate.

This is pretty cool.
posted by OmieWise at 11:20 AM on December 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


It is the Gramercy Park Hotel- I spent a few years renovating it for Ian Schrager Co.
posted by T10B at 12:07 PM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


>> So how come we don't see the people in the photo move - even infinitesimally - between each successive "frame" of the revolving camera's progress?

> there are rigs made for taking those panoramas all at once using an array of cameras with wide-angle lenses

Interesting. Single camera rotated has problems with motion between shots and multiple cameras have problems with parallax. Andras Frenyo [warning: Flash-heavy & auto-play music] who shot the panos is seen here using a fisheye with a single camera rig (panorama from that shoot). That lets you take fewer shots to cover 360/360 so you could stage things so no person is near a stitch point. However, Frenyo's Occupation Party shots have tons of people, moving.

Discussion from the guy who makes a rig Freyno uses suggests that to get the ground and perhaps zenith (depending on lens coverage), you shoot those handheld after shooting every 60 degrees from a tripod. In 2005, Freyno was using a single camera.
posted by morganw at 12:38 PM on December 3, 2011


Yup, single camera: (Re: Occupy Party panoramas) "Canon 5d/Nikkor 10.5/Atome/Monopod/Wired release/4 shots around." "There's always manual masking needed" "taking the photos in quick succession and with relative precision remains key, I believe." In other words, mad skills.
posted by morganw at 12:52 PM on December 3, 2011


Interesting, morganw. I guess this doesn't bother the Disney 360 degree theatre because they're projecting the different camera images onto different screens, and they're also doing landscapes and vistas which aren't affected by parallax.
posted by localroger at 1:15 PM on December 3, 2011


Fuck that noise

I think (looking at both of tristeza's comments) that the anger here is motivated by comic jealousy, rather than disgust. I may be wrong, but I don't think s/he was being negative.
posted by howfar at 1:49 PM on December 3, 2011


I think (looking at both of tristeza's comments) that the anger here is motivated by comic jealousy, rather than disgust. I may be wrong, but I don't think s/he was being negative.

oh. Well, fuck my noise then. sorry!
posted by Think_Long at 2:14 PM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gawd, people value and pay money for stuff that I don't value. Fuck that noise.

Its mostly just jealousy...getting $25k to hang out in a hotel room with my friends for a week and do what I love? I can only dream.
posted by tristeza at 3:10 PM on December 3, 2011


In fairness, Molly walked into that hotel room with some pretty heavy expectations; she'd only asked for $5,000, which is actually a reasonable fee for that amount of work, and she had deliberately set herself a task she knew would be very hard to finish. I love writing software but I've put myself in situations where the potential stink of failure was a major stress inducer. It probably doesn't look like Hell when she's jumping on the bed, but she might be jumping on the bed to uncramp and find the emotional energy to go on completing the assignment.

Anyway it's an awesome project and I'm glad it worked out for her.
posted by localroger at 3:47 PM on December 3, 2011


Its mostly just jealousy...getting $25k to hang out in a hotel room with my friends for a week and do what I love? I can only dream.

Or do a kickstarter project.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:09 PM on December 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is both self-serving and a waste of money and talent, but so's most art.

You know, I get that humans are my species and we're all reflections of the universe's oneness through each other's eyes blah but goddamn sometimes people seem really fucking alien to me.
posted by mediareport at 4:22 PM on December 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


Brandon Blatcher: "Or do a kickstarter project."

Get the Twitter following through Dr. Sketchy's-type thing FIRST, though.
posted by mkb at 5:23 PM on December 3, 2011


This is both self-serving and a waste of money and talent, but so's most art.

To be real about it, every cent we're not using to help someone in need is wasted, isn't it? And that's not really us overlooking something; we know that there's more important things to spend money on. Fortunately for the sake of us remaining interesting as a species, we are all bad people, as noted in an article I was reading earlier today:

An unassuming older man with salt and pepper hair and small-framed eyeglasses stands in front of a full crowd and proclaims with a smile pouring through his beard that there can be no laughter without suffering. He says, “To enjoy life, you must be a bad person.”

He then reveals the good news that we’re all bad people before pointing out that the money he used to make his film could have been used to save lives, and since we’re enjoying what he’s made, we’re all complicit in their deaths.

posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:33 PM on December 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


What I want to know is how does she pronounce her name. Is it crab apple or like Mrs. Krabappel from The Simpsons?
posted by deborah at 9:06 PM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I want a kickstarter to get a pair of Louboutin pumps like she's wearing in the video.
posted by memewit at 12:19 AM on December 4, 2011


Maybe if you had something like her talent, that you could get people to sponsor, you could do that.
posted by OmieWise at 10:23 AM on December 5, 2011


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