What The Future Has To Offer: The Work Of Artists and Politicians: Molly Crabapple and Alex Orcasia Cortez


Underpaid, Ignored, and Essential: A Coronavirus Sketchbook

Drawing the workers who cannot stay home.

Originally published April 3rd in The Nation funded by Economic Hardship Reporting: Molly Crabapple is the artist. 

Molly Crabapple is an artist and writer in New York. She is the author of Drawing Blood and co-author of Brothers of The Gun A Memoir Of The Syrian War (with Marwan Hisham). Her reportage has been published in the New York Times, the New York Review of Books, the Paris Review, Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, and elsewhere. She has been the recipient of a Yale Poynter Fellowship ( recent Poynter fellows are Chloe Angyal, Louise Story, and Kamel Daoud. and a Front Page Award, was short-listed for a Frontline Print Journalism Award, and long-listed for a National Book Award. She is often asked to discuss her work chronicling the conflicts of the 21st century, and has appeared on All In with Chris Hayes, Amanpour, NPR, BBC Radio 4 Her art is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the United States Library of Congress, and the New-York Historical Society.

Quarantined in her apartment, she put out a call on Twitter saying she wanted to draw workers who could not stay at home: delivery people, shelf stockers at grocery stores, nurses, janitors, and cashiers. In the next few hours, more than 50 people wrote to her. She drew these portraits from the selfies they sent her in their work clothes.

These are the underpaid, ignored, essential workers who have always made the earth move—and now are forced to risk their lives doing it.

Above: top down, left to right: Jay, Warehouse Worker Texas, Senan El Dahar Delivery Nurse Rhode Island, Abby Grocery Store Cashier, New Jersey, Dot, Physiscian’s Assistant New York, Alison, Target worker Massacussetts and Justice, Janitor, Albany New York.

Molly Crabapple is a wonder and her work is supported by the Economic Hardship Reporting Foundation