How to Draw a Bunny
John Walter, Andrew Moore, Francis Beatty, Lianne Halfon, John Malkovich, Russell Smith, Stephen Apicella, Rocky Collins, Max Roach, Thurston Moore
The story of the life on artist Ray Johnson is cloaked in mystery not only at the moment of his death, but also throughout a career that was, as How to Draw a Bunny so adeptly portrays, difficult to know and to understand. As one of the seminal figures in the Pop Art era, Johnson is known as "the founding father of mail art" and as a "collagist extraordinaire." But, overshadowed by those like Warhol who manipulated that world in a very dissimilar manner, he was also a reclusive and somtimes enigmatic figure who has been called "New York's most famous unknown artist," but who challenged the commercial and critical establishment.
As both investigated and represented by fimmaker John Walter, How to Draw a Bunny is itself a collage of photographs, art works, interviews and letters, home movies and video that flows at the viewer like a jazz ensemble. With exceptionally toned care and construction, Walter penetrates into a "rabbit hole of an art world wonderland" and reveals not only an artist's fragmented life but also the universe of his peers, friends, critics, and colleagues. With interviews from Roy Lichtenstein and Christo, Chuck CLose and James Rosenquist, and the artist himself, the film offers a real understanding of the origins of present-day art and the confusions of the post-modern world, as well as the experience of an artist who wore many different faces and treated the art scene as a game without a prize.