Urban contemporary artist Unwell Bunny (also known as Ed Bechervaise) opens his new exhibition ‘Super Psychology’ in January 13th 2017 at Besser Space in Melbourne.
A study into the American psyche, the body of work takes part over two time periods. From 6 weeks travelling through New York, LA, San Francisco with observations of American fast food psychology.
And then a second part series, in Melbourne seeing these works for a second time with the figurative edge of the female form.
Its a suggestive dichotomy between the past subconscious experience and the present observational one occurs and takes the viewer into a contemporary lifestyle setting. Whilst still experiencing bursts of subliminal psychology as the American infused imagery punctures the background.
Ed has shown his work in Amsterdam, New York and most recently a solo show in Paris. With its global sensibility and edgy urban undertones, Ed’s motivations are both to be pleasing aesthetically while also disruptive emotionally, triggering questions in the viewer, which is both inward and outwardly focused. A super psychology of self-discovery.
In the lead up to the show, opening Friday 13 January 2017, Ed took some time with our boy in Melbourne, Damo, to chat about all things Unwell.
Can you introduce yourself, and explain how you came to be where you are now?
Unwell Bunny: I’m Unwell Bunny (also known as Ed Bechervaise). My art story starts in Adelaide in Australia, I was a graffiti artist early on. I did some art study in Adelaide then I moved to Melbourne. In Melbourne I discovered ‘street art’ it was new and exciting, I started following it, and then got into it myself. Over time my graffiti back ground and street art interest has merged. I’m investigating neo cubism and am creating pop expressionism; it’s a bit of a departure from direct graffiti influences but I still use mediums from my graffiti days and will almost certainly always be part of the genre.
How do you describe your art?
Unwell Bunny: It’s urban pop expressionism through the use of neo cubist style. The influences come from European and American artists such as George Condo, Picasso, Gary Panter, Kama Gurka. The style is based on experience, a lot of it is subconscious, and observational, it uses flat colour and graphic shapes to form expressive narratives.
Can you tell us a little about your show, Super Psychology?
Unwell Bunny: ‘Super Psychology’ is a show largely based on the American Psyche; it’s from six weeks I spend traveling through America and the experiences that came out of it. There’s two parts to the work, an inward subconscious part based on American attitude and fast food psychology, and an out ward observational part, which came from putting these American works on the studio wall and having a female pose in front of them. It created an interesting new dimension, seeing the work, which was more expressive and imaginative as a supporting element to the figurative shape, which gave it humanity and immediacy.
Why do you think people should come to Super Psychology? What do you hope they will take away from the show?
Unwell Bunny: I hope they will have an experience, which makes them think about the things that surround us and how they influence our lives. Such as fast food has come from American culture and is influencing our own lifestyle as a by product of how America influences us as a western country. Seeing images of these symbols with a figure in front creates a cultural question about identity and about the things that influence and affect our lifestyle. Asking the question why do we adopt or consume the things that we do and where do they really come from?
‘Super Psychology’ is a bit different to the work people have come to know and love from Unwell Bunny.
Can you talk us through the change in your direction?
Unwell Bunny: It’s a little flatter, and a little more angular. It’s definitely more neo cubist even than my last show, which very much started that direction for me. It is a little less intense, but perhaps even more vibrant. There’s still the emotive quality, but the two parts make the show distinctly separate. Two periods, two ideas, joined together simultaneously.
This is your first show in Australia since you exhibited in Paris; how does your creative process differ when you are exhibiting in a foreign land? Likewise, what’s it like preparing for a show back on home turf?
Unwell Bunny: It’s just a lot easier, generally, but less interesting leading up to it, because the experiences are far more familiar. Exhibiting abroad gives you a totally new surrounding which has elements that you wouldn’t otherwise come up against.
Where do you hope your art career will lead you?
Unwell Bunny: I would like to keep showing overseas, I have an opportunity to show in San Francisco in the coming period and ultimately I would like to be an artist that pushed boundaries and changed things. It’s change I am most interested in. Every genre moves through periods where it’s not fully understood and uses a mix of influences such as the urban genre. Which still has a fair way to go taking elements of rebellion from graffiti culture, accessibility of street art imagery and the larger mainstream cultural influence of the times all create a melting pot to innovate and disrupt the traditional art practice ultimately pushing the style narrative forward.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
Unwell Bunny: Picasso, just to listen to what he has to say about challenging the conventions of the time. Breaking boundaries and creating work that people didn’t yet understand.
Unwell Bunny – ‘Super Psychology’ opens at Besser Space on the 13th of January in Melbourne. For more information visit www.unwellbunny.com