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Here's why you're seeing giant glowing rabbits in downtown Los Angeles




A giant inflatable rabbit greets Angelenos at the entrance to the Bank of America Building on Hope Street in downtown Los Angeles.
A giant inflatable rabbit greets Angelenos at the entrance to the Bank of America Building on Hope Street in downtown Los Angeles.
Kevin Ferguson/KPCC

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In the neatly manicured office parks of downtown Los Angeles this week, there are six enormous inflatable rabbits — all glowing an eerie white at night. What are they? How did they get there?

Like almost all unexplained city phenomena, the answer is simple: art. 

It’s a project by Australian artist Amanda Parer called "Intrude." It came to L.A. through the real estate company Brookfield. The exhibit's been shown in San Francisco, New York, Houston, Paris and beyond. 

Standing in front of the Bank of America building on a cool Wednesday night was Karen Kitchen, who works for Arts Brookfield — the real estate company's art division, who commissioned the works. Around Kitchen, dozens of Angelenos gathered in a part of downtown L.A. that normally slows to a crawl after the 9 to 5 crowd leaves.

"I mean, this is 7:30, 8 at night and we have probably 200 people who don't work in this neighborhood who have come to see these rabbits," said Kitchen. "This is incredible!"

"The artist's attention is clearly about scale. It is about giving us the impression that these rabbits have invaded this space," said Kitchen.

Kitchen says the enormous inflatable rabbits tap into a challenging history in Australia, the artist's home country, where rabbits have done millions of dollars in damage to crops

"It's a very simple construction," said Kitchen. "They are very sweet, and then in another way they really do talk about the idea that humans can impact their environment."

But nuanced environmental critique only has so much cachet in the world of public art — most of the people there were content to gaze at the rabbits in awe, talk with friends and pose for the occasional selfie. Johny Ta and Jaime Le drove up from El Monte and Westminster, respectively. "It's pretty cool, though," said Ta. "It's like not something you see every day — like a giant bunny in the middle of the city."

"Intrude" is on display daily now through Saturday, June 11. You can see the exhibit at the Bank of America building, the Wells Fargo building and in the Fig at 7th retail complex.