Black bunny habit
class=img_thumbleft>Stenciled black bunnies have been popping up around Minneapolis for a little more than a year now. Last spring, we spotted their one-dimensional spray-painted bodies on public trash cans along Cedar Avenue and on the outside of electrical boxes on Washington Avenue. The little rabbits always are in mid-leap, and the stenciled images seem to disappear as quickly as they came, as if overflowing trash cans of gravel can't contain these little bunnies on the run. Until now, the rabbits have appeared alone and without any clues about their purpose. Recently, however, a flier featuring the sprinting bunny sprung up at Washington and Third Street with the claim that the rabbit "is the new black."
Public art of this kind is hardly new in Minneapolis: Shepard Fairey's Obey still stares back at drivers along Hiawatha almost 17 years after his birth as one of the original grafitti icons, and who can forget local tattoo artist Brian Kelly who created his own little army and whose face was plastered all over the Twin Cities?
The rabbits can't help but remind us of some of the work by Bristol stencil artist Banksy, who's famous for the rats he painted all over London. Still, Banksy's images always were subversive, forcing viewers to question their surroundings. His most moving graffiti art is of a pig-tailed little girl holding a handful of balloons to sail herself over a segregation wall in Palestine. The meaning of the rabbits around Minneapolis isn't quite so clear: They're either running from or toward something, and we haven't determined what that is. Or maybe it's neither, and the black bunny is simply nothing more than the new Blackberry.
What do you think the rabbit means? And what is your favorite piece of public art?
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