Jeremy Fish says his bunny sculpture — the one that's stood for two years at the southwest corner of Haight and Laguna streets — is supposed to be both funny and creepy. The creepiness comes from the skull in the rabbit's mouth, and the ears that look like a snail's eyestalks. The humor? Well, that's easy. The rabbit is humongous and wildly pink, and it's surrounded by a wall of painted rabbits that are posing in unison, as if they're in a Broadway chorus line. Who wouldn't be amused by that? In fact, vandals have repeatedly tagged the sculpture and thrown paint on it, and several months ago, in the alcove behind the protuberant rabbit, someone started a fire. Now, the bunny's head and left eye are distorted. But Fish, who used to live in the lower Haight and now resides in North Beach, has faith that neighbors in his former neighborhood will make sure his street art survives. From the start, neighbors adopted his funny-creepy bunny.
“It had been up there for a few months, and had gotten tagged, and I was up there cleaning it,” Fish says, “and this older woman came out and said, 'Hey, stop doing that! Stop doing that!' And I said, 'No, no, no — it's mine.' And she said, 'You made this?' And I said, 'Yeah.' And she said, 'I've lived across this street for a number of years, and at night I didn't like walking this way to go to Safeway [at Church and Market]. I'd go out and around to get there.' She said, 'You've generated such a nice energy on the block, and there's always people around, and it's much more lively, and I feel safer around my own neighborhood.' That was special.”
The bunny is on the site of the former UC Berkeley Extension building, where the sculpture was only supposed to last a year while the building transitioned into development. Delays in the development have given the bunny, and the other artwork on the walls there, more longevity than the average street art. “It's lived,” says Fish of his nameless sculpture, “a far longer life than I ever expected when I put it there.” J.C.