Unwell Bunny – ‘Subtuition’ – Interview

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Damo: Who is Unwell Bunny? Can you talk us through your distinctive style?

UB: Unwell Bunny is the artistic alter ego of Ed Bechervaise, and an energetic free flowing artistic philosophy which is always evolving. The style I’d describe as hyper subversive urban pop, its a fluid clash of borrowed images, graffiti, and emotional narrative. Its full of energy and iconography and is a commentary on the time we live in.

Unwell Bunny Documentary Trailer from Cale Rodriguez on Vimeo.

Damo: What can we expect to see in ‘Subtuition’? Why Paris?

UB: Subtuition is an extension of the subversive idea I have been working with for awhile that grew originally from when I was living in Amsterdam, it’s about subconscious mass popular imagery that is collected and stored to create identity. The intuition part is about honesty to identify which images are truly representative of the individual’s identity. The show is 14 drawings and 4 paintings, muted colour and hyper colour. Having lived in Europe in 2012, I’m glad to have been asked back to Paris and am looking forward to having my first showing there.

The work is full of energetic story telling, and super charged character. People will most likely find something they grew up with, something from the media, something from the Internet, things from cartoons, comics, male and female culture, aggression, sex, violence and social media. But this is all inside a simple character that they’ll most likely identify with, a little bit of themselves.

The symbology is subconscious manipulation, but the character is used to highlight the individual and intuitive nature of artistic thought, that you can reinterpret all these things into something new.

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Damo: Looking back on your career thus far, what achievement would you deem your best? Your proudest moment?

UB: Painting with D*Face in 2011 was pretty cool, I’d been a fan of his work since 2003, he was one of my early influences. We painted a big wall together with Mysterious Al for a magazine and for his solo show Burn Brighter. Some of the early Melbourne days when I went out painting with Dolk from Norway and Ghouls in Melbourne, we were all out doing painting and paste up stuff with guys like Meggs and Rone and Sixten around 2003-2004. Those were great times in Melbourne. I guess spending time with other artists are the highlights, the career achievements seem to happen around these moments, it’s the collaborative times you remember the most.

Damo: You’ve worked for months on this exhibition. What has got you through? Some people say audio books, others nothing… What’s happening in the studio whilst you work?

UB: This show has been in the works for about ten months, the drawing part has been the hardest, some of the drawings take weeks, and a lot of time and dedication. I have completed 14 A1 drawings in this time. Being around people and things makes the rendering part more fluid, I buy and collect things for the studio and home that stimulate this process. They make their way into the drawings, then so does images from the internet, advertising, comic books and graffiti. Music helps as well as conversation and activity.

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Damo: Who and / or what are your inspirations as an artist?

UB: A big inspiration is Tilt and Mist, both french graffiti artists. started following them both in 2004, then spent some time with Tilt in 2011 before his solo show in Barcelona. He’s a legend. Other inspirations include Rime, Mambo, Pose, Kenny Schraf, Hebru Brantley ,Aussies Ben Frost, my good mate ELK, UK fellas D*Face, my good mate Mysterious Al, and the letter based graffiti artists I’ve painted with over the years.

Damo: If you could collaborate with any other artist, dead or alive, who would you choose and why?

UB: Kaws. I believe his discipline would continue to help mine. And Kieth Harring, because his energy would inspire years of productivity.

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Damo: What makes you laugh? What pisses you off?

UB: Being silly and making serious things silly makes me laugh. A lot of this goes into my paintings and drawings, making boring stuff fun is a big part of what inspires me. Conservative thinking is mainly what pisses me off. But then I make fun of it, and I’m back to laughing. So getting pissed off isn’t a big part of anything really.