woensdag 28 januari 2015

UnBunny remains one of the most popular Witty Art Characters!

It's nice to look back every once in a while. Earlier this week, I wrote a blog about my series ''H.U.R.T.'', which features a couple of rather sinister 'Dark Bunnies', pretty much portraying the darker instincts of mankind. But, when that series was shown during the December 2011 exhibition 'The Sleep of Reason Breeds Monsters', there was another bunch of bunnies that played an important role in my work.

As part of the same showcase, I also presented my series 'Innovation In Carnation', all about a not all to happy creature named UnBunny, who's in a constant struggle with a world more and more dominated by (digital) technology. A fight, he's bound to lose. Or so it seems. It's not always clear whether he's really on the receiving end or just acts like he is, in order to survive.

A couple of days ago, I decided to share some of the exhibition's pictures on Instagram and was taken in by the immediate, warm response towards this series. People loved it. Well, they loved him: UnBunny. And actually, that should have been no surprise. 

From the very start I came up with him, this little UnBunny has been one of the most loved and popular inhabitants of the Witty Art World. I think it's because people can relate to him, they recognise themselves in him, his struggle with the world. To some, his battle with technology represents theirs with, for instance, bureaucracy, with the rat race this world has become (which has led to another series featuring UnBunny, called 'Innovation In Corporation').

'Innovation In Carnation' has also turned out to be one my best-selling series so far. It started with a total of 19 drawings, which grew to be 30, of which 15 have found their way to new happy owners. I can still remember of pride when the first ones got sold, during the opening of the December 2011 exhibtion. There was even someone who got herself three in one buy!

Foto: (c) Vincent Kos Photography
People often ask me: ''What's this with you and rabbits?''. The funny thing is, personally, I am anything but a  a rabbit or bunny-kinda person (I am a cat person, 100%), but I do have a big fascination for how these fluffy creatures have been inspriations for the arts throughout the ages.

There's the famous White Rabbit from Lewis Carroll's classic Alice in Wonderland, Aesop's fable about The Tortoise and The Hare and Richard Adams' novel Watership Down. Popular culture has Bugs Bunny and the Book of Bunny Suicides by Andy Riley. And there is Miffy (in Dutch: Nijntje) created by my fellow Dutchman Dick Bruna and wait, did I mention Jessica Rabbit? .... And no, I have not forgotten the iconic Playboy Bunny, but that's a different phenomenon alltogether.... 

So, it seems that because of their various artistic and mythological meanings in different cultures, rabbits (and hares) have provided a great of inspiration for the arts and no doubt I have been must have been undoubtedly influenced by some of the famous rabbits mentioned above.

So, Little UnBunny, as well as his more sinister cousin Dark Bunny, fit in an old and long, established tradition of fluffy muses. So, it would be almost a crime against art if I would create no more Witty Art featuring him, right? Well, I can reassure you. UnBunny is one of those characters that will always keep popping up in my art, whether he plays the lead or is more of a sidekick, he'll always be there, big-eared, big-teethed, big-footed and all.

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