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04-05-10 Kathy Osborn The Bunny Family.JPG

Pollux writes:

Did you know that there are about a hundred and fifty different rabbit coat colors? The color of rabbit fur can range from orange to opal agouti, from chocolate tortoiseshell to frosted pearl.

Some of these colors appear in Kathy Osborn’s cover for the April 5, 2010 of The New Yorker, which is awash with a gouache-based array of various members of an extended rabbit family.

The Easter Bunny always seemed to me a lonely figure, a leporid deity condemned to roam the earth with an incongruous basket of eggs and chocolate. Usually he wears a big bow as well.

But Osborn’s “The Bunny Family” gives us an extensive gallery of countless bunnies in various poses, wearing different expressions. Even bunny families have a hierarchy. In the center of the cover, Osborn gives us a proud black-and-white paterfamilias and the equally important matriarch of this bunny family. Ears twist and swirl; bunnies frown or sleep. Some portraits are group shots.

The web forum known as Pattern Pulp, founded by Shayna Kulik, which is “devoted to tracking ideas and emerging trends that expose, celebrate, share and connect pattern design across all creative platforms,” sees a bunny family portrait-themed trend emerging in various forms and formats:

At first glance, last week’s New Yorker cover by Kathy Osborn seems like a cute parody on rabbits, Easter and Grant Wood’s infamous 1930 farmer portrait. The idea of a family tree composed entirely of bunnies, captured in stylistic unison is humorous, charming and rather surreal. A year ago, Bergdorf Goodman’s window display revealed a wall of hand painted bunnies framed against a green backdrop. Fast forward and we now have framed imagery from Hunt Slonem’s Manhattan oasis showcasing his own homage to the bunny world. Joe Zee, Elle’s Creative Director, always says, two times a coincidence, 3 times a trend, so we ask, are other adorable cuddlies going to continue adorning walls around the world or will these visual stories alternate as whims change and moods shift?

But Osborn’s covers for The New Yorker have given us a wide array of original, surreal, and eye-catching imagery.

Osborn’s “Bunny Family” not only can be considered part of a larger trend of rabbit-themed artwork but it also fits as snugly as a bunny in a burrow within Osborn’s colorful, humorous, and off-beat work.

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2008 Webby Awards Official Honoree