Juan Muniz while painting “All the Way Through” I Facebook
Juan Muniz’s hands and wrists were aching over the weekend. He drifted away from his usual brushes and outdoor acrylics and commitment to aerosol. In less than 12 hours, Muniz and friends completed a mural on an Arts Factory wall that faces East Charleston.
With the draftsmanship of an animator, the small boy, always wearing his bunny PJ’s and never showing his full face, is once again enduring. And he has a name; Felipe the Bunny.
It’s another appearance of the recurring character that’s seen in Las Vegas, including at The LINQ, Electric Daisy Carnival, or where ever there may be a wall.
“I grew up wanting to be an animator,” said Muniz. “After I eventually got my degree in animation, I fell into tattooing. I was always inspired by graffiti, so I mixed everything together into my work, graff, cartoons, tattoo, anime.” Now his work is seen galleries around the US and abroad, said the artist.
The new piece is called “All the Way Through” and is about “paint flowing from the brush through your heart to create something beautiful,” Muniz said. He's used spray cans before, but just to o outline images. With this first piece that only used aerosol, Muniz take his work back to his influences, like street artists Ron English, and Melbourne natives Dabs and Myla.
“The funny part about Felipe is he doesn't ever talk,” said Muniz, who doesn’t paint a mouth under the quiet eyes. “I wanted him to just be universal. It's funny when people say ‘Oh, he looks sad’ or ‘He looks lost’ . . . mischievous or whatever. He’s actually has the same look in the face in every piece.” That adds something cinematic to Felipe the Bunny. Working with the site's scale to frame innocence, the artist taps into something Keaton and Chaplin knew. A deadpan look can be an open door to something emotive.
“The simplicity of the painting it's evokes an emotion in people, and then they project it onto him,” said Muniz. “I always base my work on the idea ‘say it simple, mean it deep.’ A simple image that allows the viewer to digest a deeper message I'm trying to share.”
That has something complex in the simple crafted lines and scale behind the bunny.