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Bunnies and skulls and skateboards, oh my! A Q&A with Jeremy Fish

By Zoneil Maharaj

Aug 20, 2006 - 12:00 AM

Jeremy Fish could use a shave...

And now, his artwork...

Jeremy Fish lives in a fantasy world, one where the cute and cuddly sit next to the dark and dreary. He sends postcards from his world in the form of paintings, sculptures, and illustrations. These works have made him quite popular, turning him into a hustler of the art world, whether it’s through selling paintings at exhibits across the globe, making skateboards, or doing commercial work like designing a limited edition shoe for Nike. His trademark: pink bunnies and skulls. In fact, it’s been rumored that he’s the leader of the Silly Pink Bunnies. And it’s been rumored that the Silly Pink Bunnies are actually a vicious gang and/or a branch of the illuminati. Of course, he wouldn’t confirm this when we caught up with him to ask some random questions.

Oh Dang!: I honestly don’t know shit about art, so I have difficulty describing it. So how bout you describe your art to our readers so that I don’t have to?

Jeremy Fish: My artwork is like little unfinished stories. You look at them, put the collection of symbols together in your mind, and tell your own ending to the story. Or hate it and walk away.

OD: What are you trying to convey with your work? Are there hidden messages in them? I often stare at your pieces and think: “Don’t do drugs.” Am I close?

JF: Stories, like I said in question one. Old-fashioned story telling with symbols and characters. Sometimes the story is obvious and sometimes it’s more subtle. Don’t do drugs is never a story I am telling.

OD: Who are the Silly Pink Bunnies? And is there more than one person in the SPBz, or do hold it down for the crew all by your lonesome?

JF: That is top secret. I’m sorry.

OD: Is the name Silly Pink Bunnies a vagina reference? If so, I don’t get it.

JF: Huh?

OD: Why the bunnies? Why the pink? Why the skulls? Are they products of your vivid imagination, a rough childhood, or the result of too many bong rips/skate accidents?

JF: Bunnies and skulls balance each other. Good and evil, cute and creepy. It’s a combination of imagery that creates a certain uneasy feeling between the cute and approachable bunny and the dark and intimidating skull stuff. Ying and yang sort of a deal.

OD: You’ve contributed a lot to the skate art scene. What are some of the company’s you’ve worked with?

JF: Consolidated, Think, Real, Bueno, Element, and yes, the Unbelievers. Doing skateboard graphics is a childhood dream come true.

OD: What’s the Unbelievers all about?

JF: Myself and Scott Bourne (pro skateboard dude) started the company four years ago. We were trying to bring something different to skateboarding. It is still alive four years later, but just barely.

OD: Your latest project was “The Next Best Thing,” a collaborative book and record with Aesop Rock. How’d you two hook up? And how’d you come up with the concept?

JF: We were introduced by a mutual friend to work on a cartoon project. That got put on hold and we came up with the concept for the Next Best Thing. I am really proud of this thing. I feel like it is a pretty original concept for this type of collaboration.

OD: Your art is pretty odd (I mean that in the most flattering way). Aesop Rock’s lyrics hint at insanity/genius. The end result is ridiculous (in a good way). So what was it like working with him? Can we expect more collabos in the future? Mixtapes are big in rap these days…

JF: As a result of this collab and Aesop moving to SF, we are pretty good friends now. And yes, there are lots more cool things coming down the road.

OD: If you two got into fight, who would win and why?

JF: He would. He is a shitload bigger than me, and I think he has more inner rage. But, I have a gang of dudes that would kill him later.

OD: You got any spits yourself homey? Or do you only speak visually?

JF: I tried to rap for a year or so when I was 18. It was awful, and I don’t like doing anything I’m not good at. I DJ-ed for a really bad rap group in my hometown in the early 90's and rapped on a couple of songs. It was truly pathetic. I stick to visual communication these days.

OD: You’re originally from NY. Why’d you come to SF and what made you stay?

JF: I moved out west for skateboarding and art school. I fell in love with SF, and have been here for 12 years. I got a job right out of school and found myself to be a taxpaying resident soon after.

OD: Do you get hyphy and ghostride your van with the does open?

JF: No, never.

OD: What’s the next big thing for Mr. Fish?

JF: I want to get a dog. I am having a show in Taiwan next week and one in LA at Shepard Fairey's Subliminal Projects gallery in August.

OD: Tell us a secret about yourself.

JF: I am a creep.

Visit www.sillypinkbunnies.com for more info and artwork.

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