Bunnie Reiss grew up with the endless blue sky of Colorado and relocated to San Francisco where she incubated and nurtured her creative abilities and her need to understand and be heavily involved with community. She took some time to study formal painting and drawing at the Pont-Aven School for Contemporary Art in Pont-Aven, France. Although leaving France was difficult, she was offered a full-ride scholarship to San Francisco Art Institute, where she received her MFA in painting. Her work is heavily influenced by her Eastern European background, with its tradition of folk art, bright colors and community engagement. Her extensive travels have also added an extra layer of conversation, as Bunnie believes that being a witness to our world is very important.
Bunnie has shown extensively in both the United States and around the world, in galleries, alternative spaces, bookstores, abandoned buildings, fields and forests, or any place that seems to need a little extra magic. Her brightly colored folk murals decorate many countries and can be found all over the world, including Los Angeles, Mexico, Italy, Paris, India, Philippines, Detroit, Milwaukee, New York, and San Francisco. She currently resides in Highland Park, Los Angeles.
I have always created to bring together. Materials, community, cultures, experiences, the past and the present, are all part of my visual catalog. I consider all my work, including murals, intimate studio works, larger installations, and any other object or surface I can get my hands on to be a spell, an offering, or a place for communities and people to gather.
Since we have a real opportunity to build a unique visual history of what is going on with our world, these moments with murals or any form of visual communication function much like modern day cave paintings. Our simple and deep need to communicate what we think is important, and what message we want to leave behind, is a primal need much bigger than ourselves.
As technology advances and the human condition gets more confused on how it is we are supposed to interact with one another, any visual expression that can bring people together feels imperative to keeping this world going. I’d like to be a storyteller in part of this larger book. I’d like to be the time-traveler that helps people to remember to talk to one another. And most importantly, I want to use my skill as an artist to leave this world better than it was before I became a part of it.