Synopsis by Mark Deming
Ray Johnson was an artist who followed a creative path so individual than even his closest friends were often hard put to explain just what he was up to. Once described as "the most famous unknown artist in America," Johnson was a legend partly for his work (in which he incorporated pop art images, collage, rubber stamps, and any number of other elements in a unique and groundbreaking manner), partly for his striking sense of humor (he once accepted an offer of 1,500 dollars for a piece after someone had offered to pay 2,000 dollars -- but cut 25 percent of the painting away before sending it to its new owner), and partly for his unique behavior (which many saw as a variety of performance art, including his suicide, after which he was found drowned in Sag Harbor -- with a treasure trove of unseen artwork carefully arranged in his home). How to Draw a Bunny (a title which refers to the cartoon rabbit that was Johnson's signature) is a documentary about Ray Johnson's always memorable life and death, and features video footage of the artist's performance pieces, as well as interviews with friends and contemporaries Roy Lichenstein, Christo, Chuck Close, and Billy Name; jazz great Max Roach composed the film's musical score.
artist, creativity, eccentric, humor, individuality, performance-art, pop-art, suicide