performing her brilliant one woman show "Longing Lasts Longer" last summer at Joe's Pub in NYC. She continues to develop this piece and is traveling the world, winning awards and getting The recognition she deserves.
Seeing her perform this piece was almost a spiritual experience for me. I was just in the zone of - - - some powerful resonance with her words and ideas. So on point. I could not stop drawing and writing , wanting to soak the experience up and wring it out on the page. And in that way absorb it more fully.
So much of what we have all been thinking or feeling in this world of the disappears of true artistry and genuine expression - Penny puts it all out there in such a coherent and relevant way - heartfelt and from the soul - fearless - Gives me (us) hope that the world will not be completely consumed by generic soul-sucking corporate culture.
Keep Fighting the Good Fight Penny!! Love You!! xxx
When I first got my smart (ass) phone whenever I would try to type the name Joey it would always autocorrect it to Jpeg - seriously - it drove me nuts.
Then I had an idea for a punk band where all the first names would be the same - like in the Ramones they all had the same last name. So there is Jpeg Ramone, Jpeg Strummer, Jpeg Shithead - - who else ?? Help me out here - want to get this show on the road and get our first record out !!
Remembering this day as the Paris Attacks are still so fresh.
I had just gotten off the red-eye from Oakland CA the morning before. I was on my way to work riding my bike to FIT west on 9th St when I noticed the one tower on fire and could not believe it. I was wondering what the hell had happened and how the hell they were going to get that fire out. I got to 6th Ave and had a clear view and watched with many others as the second plane flew into the towers. That was when people really started freaking out as it was then obvious that this was an orchestrated attack. People were jumping out of their cars and running all over the place. I continued north on 6th ave still thinking I should get to work but I kept stopping to look back. More and more people were starting to realize what was happening.
When I got to FIT the classes were quickly being canceled. A lot of kids were trying to call their parents who worked in the towers or in the downtown area. I rode my bike back downtown and went to see Adrienne Droogas who was working on W 13th St at a health food store. She took me up to the roof and we watched in shock as first one tower came crumbling down and then the second. It was horrifying and surreal. I heard this deep rumbling and the tower just folded straight down in seconds. there was a big black cloud that came rolling toward us like a tidal wave. It was rolling over the entire Island. Then a few minutes later the second tower came down.
The whole city was in complete shock. Ground Zero burned for days. The toxic fumes engulfed the entire downtown area for months as well as blowing into Brooklyn, New Jersey, or Uptown, as the wind prevailed. Everyone was wearing masks. I got very sick from the fumes.
It was heartbreaking in the days after the attack to see hundreds of posters and photos put up by people looking for their lost loved ones. So many memorials.
I remember going to Union Square a few days after the attack and it was full of thousands of people holding candles and it was so quiet.
I feel for the people of Paris.
There is too much fear and hatred in the world today on so many levels.
Teaching comics at the Lower Eastside Girls Club makes me really happy although so much turmoil in the world. We talk about world events and make comics about it and make up our own stories. These girls are amazing and they give me hope for the future
Illustration for Benefit after Fire Damage to 1984 Printing and AK Press in Oakland CA
My friends Amy and Richard have run 1984 Printing for years and do amazing work. 1984printing.com - - thankfully both 1984 and AK have managed to recover enough to be in business again. I highly recommend 1984 for your next print job !
This is one of the write-ups after the tragedy. I have a few friends who lost their homes. I did not know the artists who died but it is a painful loss nonetheless x
Before dawn on Saturday, March 21 2015, a fire erupted in a warehouse on 24th Street in Oakland. Two resident artists died, Davis Letona and Daniel “Moe” Thomas. The fire quickly spread to the adjoining warehouse on 23rd Street which houses 1984 printing and AK Press. On the AK side, three residential units sustained severe damage, at least one being totally destroyed, with a beloved cat succumbing to the smoke and heat. As a result of the three-alarm fire, other units sustained varying degrees of water and smoke damage. Businesses on the first floor are struggling with major damage from tons of stinky smoke-smelling water that rained down.
AK Press lost a large number of books and other inventory. 1984 Printing lost reams of printing paper, computers, jobs in progress, and more. In all, between businesses and residents, damages easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars, probably exceeding well over $100,000. Things became worse, with a much greater number of people affected, when the warehouse on 23rd Street was red-tagged by the City of Oakland on March 23 and the AK warehouse was red-tagged on March 24, meaning no residents or businesses are allowed inside either building, even if their units were largely unaffected by the fire, leaving dozens homeless and AK and 1984 unable to operate.
Her 1990s Lower Eastside Squatter Photos are collected in her new book Kill City.
This is the blurb that I wrote for the jacket flap.
Smashley was armed with a camera and was part of our disheveled trip of misfits toiling away relentlessly in dimly lit and dangerous abandoned buildings during the turbulent 1990s. Her photographs capture the beautiful resilience, defiant optimism, and astounding feats of reconstruction as we all struggled to move mountains of rubble to build a better life"