Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bunny Man

I am really frustrated right now because of this cover. I have spent hours searching for more information about it and have come up with a lot about the artist’s other work, but nothing regarding this specific painting. I wanted so badly to talk about it, but much of the context is lost without hard facts. So I decided to supply educated guesses with some of the actual information I found about this piece.

This is a book cover for a set of short stories by Etgar Keret, an Israeli author I discovered because of his storytelling on the podcast “This American Life”. I just got this book and loved the cover. The artist who illustrated it is Scott Musgrove. Musgrove is a contemporary artist who had previously done comic book illustration, most notably a comic called “Fat Dog Mendoza”- which eventually turned into a Cartoon Network Europe television show. His new paintings can be classified as figural surrealism. They are mostly of fantastical creatures that look like they are extinct species. Musgrove claims he is allergic to most animals but is fascinated by them, which is why it is easier to just make his creatures up.

The illustration is on the book “The Nimrod Flip Out”. I think the publisher (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux) commissioned it, and I think that because it is unlike the other work the artist has done. I mean it is not completely dissimilar, but the subject is definitely not his usual fantastical animal painting. It is of a man in a bunny suit, who looks as though he just shot a few duck/fish things (yes, that was my best description of what those look like to me). The colors are of Musgrove’s usual palate, and he still uses oil paint (I think). The cover is successful in my eyes because the short stories in the book are surreal and have a male protagonist most of the time. I also think the man in the bunny outfit looks similar to the author. I think it doesn’t give too much away, which is what keeps me looking at it.

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