As we say goodbye to the tiger and wave hello to the Year of the Rabbit, let’s discuss what this means – and explore the different rabbit-themed art available in 2023.
Read on to learn more about the Year of the Rabbit, and artwork to look out for that epitomises this lunar year.
What is the Lunar New Year?
Before we explore the different art available that depicts rabbits, let’s explore what the Lunar New Year is, and what to expect from the Year of the Rabbit.
The Lunar New Year refers to the first day of the Chinese calendar, symbolising the beginning of spring. Also known as Spring Festival, the Lunar New Year took place on the 22nd of January and is one of the most important events in Chinese Culture. However, the official date changes per year; although the festival either takes place in January or February.
Despite being known as the Chinese New Year, it isn’t just celebrated in China. The Lunar New Year is celebrated all around the world, especially in many countries across Asia.
The animals in Chinese Astrology dictate a range of personality traits, similar to the star signs of the zodiac. The rabbit is used to represent people that were born in the following years:
2022 was the Year of the Tiger, which represented positive and active energy in terms of Chinese cosmology. The Year of the Rabbit, however, has a different energy – for example, relaxation, contemplation, and quietness. Chinese tradition suggests that the Year of the Rabbit will be calm and gentle, bringing energy that encourages a calm and balanced life.
The rabbit is a gentle, clever animal. Although it is not the strongest, it has many good qualities such as charm and partnership.
Year of The Rabbit Art
If you’re looking for artwork that depicts the lunar year of the rabbit, our team of art experts at Grove Gallery can help. We work with a range of artists from around the world and can help you find the right piece of art for you.
Opake, born Ed Worley, has always been fascinated by graffiti art – and began his artistic journey by tagging. This quickly developed into large-scale murals as Opake found his path.
Opake’s niche is that he depicts cartoon characters in an unusual, unique way. For example, you can find Opake’s artwork that depicts the childhood character Pink Panther situated among a background of skulls.
His artwork is inspired by the drug-induced psychosis he experienced in the past. A popular Opake piece is ‘That’s All Folks’ – a spray paint and acrylic piece depicting multiple versions of Bugs Bunny with a range of facial expressions.
This isn’t the only time Opake has depicted Bugs Bunny in his artwork – check out Opake’s ‘Rabbit Season’ – another spray paint and acrylic piece of the popular cartoon bunny.
If you wish to view Opake’s work, explore our very own Grove Gallery in London – or if you wish to enquire about investing in art, contact our friendly team of experts.
Another artist who depicts rabbits in his work is Keith Haring. Haring is one of the most prominent modern artists, known for his famous chalk outlines in New York City’s subways and colourful murals.
Haring produced over 50 public artworks from 1982 to 1989, some of which featured in daycare centres, hospitals and schools. Many of the works of art he produced in the later stages of his career expressed social themes such as homosexuality, safe sex, aids and anti-apartheid.
Combining cartoon figures, street art aesthetics and political overtones, Haring’s artwork resonates with many.
Haring is also known for his Playboy Bunny collections – including the ‘Bunny on the Move’, which is one of many artworks Haring created in collaboration with Playboy Magazine.
Back in 1986, Keith Haring was commissioned by the Playboy brand to produce several pieces of art for Playboy Magazine. Following Haring’s death, Playboy reproduced some of these pieces in merchandise and limited editions – referred to as the KH86 suite.
Playboy Bunny No.1 was created in 1986 and was printed in 1990. This design is one of three drawings depicting rabbit heads made for covers that weren’t ever published.
Haring gave Playboy the rights to publish Playboy Bunny No.2, which was created and printed the same years as Playboy Bunny No.1. Playboy agreed to pay Haring $5,000 for the print, regardless of whether the drawing was used for the cover of Playboy Magazine or not.
The third and final Playboy Bunny drawing, Playboy Bunny No.3, is difficult to come across – with no images existing of the piece on the internet today. It is unknown whether this piece made it to poster or print.