Everybody ready? ‘Cuz we’re comin’ atcha with the latest Threadless installation: an incredibly cool, original piece by Chicago’s own BUNNY!LUV! Inspired by the Spanish song “La Primavera” by Manu Chao, this super colorful, super detailed mural is going to blow your eyelids right off your face. Hey, don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Read on to learn more about the awesomely talented BUNNY!LUV and see pics of the mural below!
Hey, BUNNY!LUV! We love the piece you created for us at Threadless. Why don’t you kick off this interview by telling us a little bit about yourself, how did you initially became involved with art?
I’m a working artist from San Jose, Costa Rica, currently based in Chicago. I still remember living in Colombia when I was five and drawing all over the floors and the walls. It’s always been natural to me, especially drawing. It was just a matter of finding mediums that worked for me as I learned to develop my practice. Eventually, I took a lot of inspiration from graffiti art, and worked with a more free-handed approach. Later, I got into designing and screen-printing gig posters for several years when I lived in Madison, WI. I wanted to open myself to a larger network of artists, so I moved to Chicago some years back to return to my roots and try and go bigger in my work.
What artists do you look to for inspiration and influence? In what ways have they shaped your approach to art?
It goes way back to the masters of yesterday to the masters of today. Hieronymus Bosch, Paul Cézanne, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, and ZEPHYR, Lady Pink (from the Wild Style days), and COPE2. Nowadays I’m loving the work of Herakut, ROA, Tristan Eaton, Sofles, and a lot of local Chicago people keeping it fresh. The list goes on and on. I love their ideas, composition, their usage of colors and typography, and the confidence in their work.
How would you describe your overall aesthetic?
I like the idea of juxtaposing beauty with grittiness and imperfection. When I learned of the Japanese term “wabi-sabi”, I identified with the concept immediately. I could relate to the idea that something imperfect can also be beautiful because of it’s originality.
You have such an awesome range with your work. How do you continue to keep eachpiece fresh and distinct?
Keeping a sketchbook on me always. I write down ideas and
whatever suddenly pops into my head. Also, I’m always present and engaged in my surroundings, because people generally feed off of the energy and ideas of others. It’s always good to be around inspired minds.
What brought you to create a piece for Threadless?
I had a cool idea and I shot it to one of your peeps.
Describe the initial inspiration for the piece you made for us, and the meaning behind it.
It’s taken from an excerpt from a song called “La Primavera” (meaning “The Spring”) by Manu Chao, and I keyed into the lyrics “Que Hora Son… Mi Corazon” (meaning “what time is it… my heart”). It felt like a piece that resembles new beginnings and embracing what you have going forward.
What’s your process like for preparing and creating murals?
I come up with a few ideas, sketch them out, and figure out which elements work.
Color has a big presence in your work. In what ways does it influence your designs?
Color combinations are really important, but it’s also important for me to try and not be so obvious with my color palette.
What inspired the name “BUNNY!LUV”?
When I worked at a screen-print studio I created a shirt of some flying bunnies. One of them said “Chickity czech yo self”, and the other flying bunny said “before you wreck yo self”. It’s a lyric from an old Ice Cube song. People liked it and called me BUNNY!LUV, and eventually BUNNY!LUV kind of stuck because of the irony. Is it cute and cuddly, or is it gritty, free flowing, and in yo fayce?!
What are your goals as a street artist?
Hmm, street art is a broad term. For one, you have to appreciate the history of where it all started with graffiti art and hip-hop. Those people who liked Jean-Michel Basquiat (SAMO) back in New York in the ‘80s got a glimpse of a “street artist” who was showing the world a very raw glimpse of their own voice. Art has a way of pushing boundaries, and artists today realize you can take this to another
level and use whatever is in front of you to make your art a part of this world.
Where else can we find your work, and do you have any shows or events coming up?
You can follow my work on Instagram @bunnyluvchi, and I also have a show/mural being showcased in March at Locallective in Chicago’s Wicker Park. Stay tuned!
What are you up to when not creating awesome art all around Chicago?
I’m usually hitting up an art opening, or checking out a show of some sort that’s community, music, or arts related. I try to take in whatever this city has to offer in the moment.