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Mar 29, 2007

Interview with Andrew Brandou

Vinyl Pulse is pleased to bring you an interview with LA artist Andrew Brandou done b y our guest blogger Yevgeniy Shukhman. Read on to learn more about Andrew's "Sniper Bunny" toy and his upcoming projects.

Hello Andrew! It's been a while since we talked about Sniper Bunny.  I believe it was for Mean magazine's "Mean Toys" "Dr.Romanelli Prescription" column before the toy even came out. Let's start with an introduction and then move on to our exciting topic -- the "Sniper Bunny" 12 inch plush toy. Please introduce yourself.

I am a painter living in Los Angeles, and have only recently begun creating toys and objects. I work with a lot of character-driven art to create series based on real-life events. I use plants and animals, living and dead, as metaphor, so the work is more universal than its real life inspiration. Some of my subjects include the Charles Manson mythos, the May '68 student riots in Paris, and most recently the Peoples Temple. Of course, those are the jumping-off point, the finished pieces may recall something different depending on the viewer.

What have you been up to?

I am working on a solo show which will take place at the Corey Helford Gallery in Culver City, CA on April 14th. It has involved quite a bit of research and seeking out new materials to work with which has been really rewarding. I am also working with a shop in Osaka called  "Historiae Animalium", doing identity work such as signage, bags, and original paintings for the shop itself.


"Sniper Bunny" is now out of the bag and available for purchase and has received universal praise amongst toy collectors and art buffs alike. What do you think about final product?

I'm very pleased with it. It was important for me to do something very hands-on, something that was a close to a hand-made object as I could, and  I think that really came across.

How was it to work on the toy for the first time?

It was a challenge -- Sniper Bunny's a plush doll, and I don't sew or design patterns. Luckily, I have friends who could help me with that, and who were willing to let me take a clumsy stab at it and explain my mistakes. That stage is of course just the start, then you have to send it overseas and explain to them what you want, what fabrics to use, make revisions, and so on. It was a learning experience, but worth it for sure.


Please tell our readers about Sniper Bunny's packaging, which in my opinion is very much an integral part of the toy?

The packaging for sniper bunny is integral as a bridge between my paintings and the toy, as well as being a narrative for the toy itself. On the surface, you have a California hillside home, with a few characters hanging around outside. As you peel away layers, you become a witness to a crime scene inside the home, and then you find yourself in the killer's hideaway. The doll is there, like a child's toy made by the family for one of their own.


Internet news travel very fast. Didn't Charles Manson fans got very excited about "Sniper Bunny"?

There was some positive feedback from Manson enthusiasts, yeah. This is mostly gratifying because they must have really been paying attention. There are only very subtle references to Manson on the outer packaging, so I feel like I must have hit on a vibe that they were into. For someone that takes their obsessions that seriously to appreciate Sniper Bunny is an honor.


Sniper Bunny Box Panel


There are currently two versions of "Sniper Bunny": Regular and Creepy Crawl. Could you let us in on the  about the possibility of additional versions coming soon?

While I am not ruling out that possibility, it would more than likely be in relationship to another project, like a show of paintings or published materials. I am interested in producing other items, so that "Sniper Bunny" has some friends and family to play with.



What is next for Andrew Brandou and Howdy Pardner?

In the immediate future I'm working on my show for the Corey Helford gallery. Next up will be a book project, and who knows!


Andrew, thanks for taking the time to talk to us and best of luck!

Andrew Brandou's LA solo show, "As A Man Thinketh, So He Is"  will open at Corey Helford Gallery on Saturday April 14th, 2007. See you there! Sniper Bunny is now available for purchase online and in store at Span of Sunset, SURU, and other fine boutiques world-wide. For wholesale inquiries please contact DKE Toys.

SURU 
7662 Melrose Ave.
LA CA 90046


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Comments

Thank you for such a nice lead into a great artist.
This is cooler than BOING BOING. I will keep looking forward to more reading from Yevgennyi. Much appreciated.

Sniper Bunny is super cute!

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