Don't forget his ubiquitous bunny heads.
July 5, 2005 1:36 PM   Subscribe

The inventor of mail art and master of performance events he liked to call "nothings", "the most famous unknown artist in the world" has caught my fancy. He called his enigmatic collages "moticos" and stored them in cardboard boxes to be shown in Grand Central Station or on the street. He playfully hinted numerous times about his mortality; even his closest friends and associates agree that his carefully planned death was his last “nothing". I can't wait to see How To Draw A Bunny. Here's an open letter to him.
posted by Specklet (19 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I just saw "How To Draw A Bunny" this past weekend. It was excellent. Highly recommend it.
posted by Maishe at 1:43 PM on July 5, 2005

The death story seems interesting, but the page background seems especially designed to give one a headache. I had to stop halfway through (at most).
posted by clevershark at 1:56 PM on July 5, 2005

Yes, it is a wonderful movie. His house/studio was amazing. *Ray* in peace.
posted by R. Mutt at 1:58 PM on July 5, 2005

I honestly watched that movie last night before I went to sleep. Fantastic movie. Thought-provoking artist. Thanks for the foundation of sites to learn more about him.
posted by immer geradeaus at 2:07 PM on July 5, 2005

Also, this from 1999. And a photo of Ray
posted by R. Mutt at 2:09 PM on July 5, 2005

I thought the movie was pretty mediocre but I stuck with it because the subject was so fascinating. But I never actually learned how to draw a bunny.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 2:16 PM on July 5, 2005

I've watched "How to Draw a Bunny" a number of times now + was really struck by Norman Soloman - esp. the mention in the
director's commentary that most of his photos of Johnson and the mid-50s NYC art scene were never developed ... anyone out there know more about him? Seems like an equally fascinating and enigmatic character.
posted by ryanshepard at 2:23 PM on July 5, 2005

So where can we buy the book "Mind Invaders. How to Fuck (With) the Media?"
posted by banished at 2:44 PM on July 5, 2005

Here's an humorous piece of related news I picked up from some post-inspired googling: Luther Blisset - anarchist hero.
Thanks Specklet for the afternoon brain-poke (I needed it!).
Ps. On preview, I think I'll call my new art movement "Post-Inspired"... has a nice ring, and matches my current disposition extremely well.
posted by numlok at 2:55 PM on July 5, 2005

But I never actually learned how to draw a bunny.

The instructions are at the very beginning of the movie. Elementary, but they are there.
posted by immer geradeaus at 2:59 PM on July 5, 2005

Faded Blue Jeans is, indeed, a terrible choice for a background texture on that carefully planned death page.

I think I will be adding How to Draw a Bunny to my NetFlix queue thanks to the recommendations here. Thanks!
posted by fenriq at 3:08 PM on July 5, 2005

I saw "How to Draw a Bunny" a month ago. Highly recommended. Somewhere I heard (probably in the movie) that Ray Johnson was "the artists' artist."
posted by jaronson at 3:56 PM on July 5, 2005

Having operated under the name of the New York Correspondance School for a decade, in 1973 Ray Johnson suddenly declared that it had died.

It is hereby re-opened.
posted by nervousfritz at 4:17 PM on July 5, 2005

thanks. never heard of this guy before.
posted by es_de_bah at 4:29 PM on July 5, 2005

great post, thanks
posted by matteo at 4:46 PM on July 5, 2005

Specklet, this is a great post! I've been interested in him for some time now. Can't wait to see this movie.
posted by iconomy at 6:26 PM on July 5, 2005

I need to see the bunny movie I guess, because my first impression from the fpp links was that here is an annoying crank who wasted most his own and a lot of other people's time and then caused as much annoyance and pointless trouble as he could arrange for in effecting his own demise.

Also, could someone make a bunny face out of ()s and ^s?
posted by longsleeves at 9:15 PM on July 5, 2005

() ()
(^ ^)

posted by Bugbread at 2:44 AM on July 6, 2005

How to Draw a Bunny was one of the most interesting movies that I've seen in ages.

Do you suppose we could set up a MeFi mail art ring?
posted by Jon-o at 6:25 AM on July 6, 2005

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