Bunny Michael on Spiritual Sexuality and Transcending Gender

Bunny Michael is a genderqueer interdisciplinary artist who creates dreamy, femme-centric images that examine spirituality, nature, and how both connect to form an ultimate “higher self.” Bunny works primarily in photography, video, music, and performance using their own image to deliver a message of transcendent self-discovery, encouraging viewers and other artists to connect to the non-corporeal aspect of themselves. As an art form Bunny utilizes self-portraiture, doubling their image to fashion parables that examine the relationship between the masculine and feminine, the body and the soul. For example, their music video for their cover of Daddy Yankee’s “Gasolina” displayed two of Bunny’s personas dancing and floating through a pastel, sensual, otherworldly reality. Recently they have been creating memes that exist on social media platforms that utilize their dual personas, making cheeky commentary on the avatar as higher self. Another persona they’ve been exploring is called “Khum Princess,” an angel/priestess who creates her own, psychologically charged songs separate from Bunny’s other music. Themes that tie together all of Bunny’s works regardless of medium are vulnerability, spirituality, sexuality, feminine energy, self-image making, and transcending worldly restraints such as gender and capitalism.

 

Bunny Michael
Top: Topshop | Choker: Friends NYC | Photo by Ryan Bevans

You’ve talked a lot in your writing and other interviews about spirituality, sexuality, and art making. In regards to your practice, what is the relationship between these aspects?

Spirituality is the purpose of my life. I identify as a spirit having a human experience. So being spiritual is being myself and having an awareness of a power that is beyond the physical realm. That outer realm is where I source my art as well. I channel my art from meditation, dreams and visions during sex. I believe spirit speaks to me through my subconscious mind and I have to get out of my ego mind to receive those messages. Meditation, dreams, and conscious sexual experiences provide a space for that. To be spiritual has become this trendy word that in my opinion is misunderstood by many. It’s not a hobby or something you do outside of work, it’s a lifetime dedication to using your gifts to bring about consciousness expansion, compassion, and change in the world.

Bunny Michael 1
Bodysuit: Topshop | Fur Coat: L Train Vintage | Photo by Ryan Bevans


I’ve noticed that on your social media platforms you’ve been creating self-reflective memes using your image, your alternate personas. Do you consider the meme an art form?

I definitely think memes are an art form. They are interesting to me because the language provides a container, a cultural context that you can play around in. It familiarizes the viewer and makes them part of the piece. It’s unpretentious and inclusive. The Higher Self memes are messages of self-love and expressions of how we can all treat ourselves better, that we are more powerful than we even realize.

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Blazer: Bunny’s Personal Collection | Photo by Ryan Bevans

What do you think is the role and value of vulnerability in your practice?

Vulnerability is the key. My work is about showing the journey, the ups and downs, the mistakes and the failures, the dreams and the obsessions. I recently went through a heartbreak and posted a video of myself crying because on this level I found the pain so fascinating. I’m interested in conscious witnessing. I’m interested in exploring what it means to be human and how we can save our species.

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Top: UNIF from Friends NYC | Bottom: Bunny’s Personal Collection | Photo by Ryan Bevans

Can you speak on the importance of controlling your own image and self-representation as a queer person of color?

I can control how I represent myself but I can’t control how people see me. That is a hard lesson I’ve had to let go of. My ancestry is a major source of my power. I use the pronoun ‘they’ because gender is an illusion. I am a spirit. I want to dismantle all forms of social conditioning that have repressed humans for generations upon generations.

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Top, Necklace, and Eyewear: Friends NYC | Photo by Ryan Bevans

How is feminine energy an important component of your work?

Feminine energy couldn’t not be an important component of my work even if I tried. Feminine energy is the planet, the moon, the stars…it’s the receiver, the seducer, the magnetic force. It has been denied its natural expression for too long. We are so out of balance. I pray for the end of the patriarchy and I work diligently to be a revolutionary of that change.

Bunny Michael 5
Top, Necklace, and Eyewear: Friends NYC | Photo by Ryan Bevans

Can you talk about your Khum Princess project?

Khum Princess is a project that came out of this need to have a psychological purge. I had been unearthing a lot of past trauma for my own personal healing when I started creating this new persona. She is a mix between a guardian angel and a priestess of the underworld. All of the songs for this project are “collage songs.” They are mashes of my own production with samples from teenage nostalgia and my own writing.

What are some new projects you’re working on?

I am releasing a telenovela soon — a four song visual story, which begins with a new video for the first chapter, 888. I’ve been working really hard on this so I am really excited to share.

For more information please visit bunnymichael.com

This original fashion editorial and interview with Bunny was produced for our third print issue. Check out the full feature below.

Photography Ryan Bevans
Art Direction Asher Torres
Photo Assistance Dylan Long, Zita Zenda and Mengwen Cao

Styling Keli Lucas
Styling Assistance Marcus Elliot

. . .

Posture’s third print issue — The Boss Issue — is now available for purchaseThis 168-page magazine features exclusive interviews with artists, theorists, activists, and nightlife icons. The conversations dive deep into ideas of leadership, success, and organizing in queer/trans/non-binary and WOC communities. This issue also represents a new design direction for Posture, one that reflects the mission and purpose of the publication.

Order your copy today through our online shop: shop.posturemag.com.

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Annie Rose
Annie Rose Author

Annie Rose is a visual artist and writer living and working in Brooklyn. She holds an MFA in Photography, Video, and Related Media from SVA. Annie’s pursuits include Special Projects Manager of the poetry collective Gemstone Readings, and writing art reviews for various online publications. Her current interests include individual isolation and gothic net art, digital trauma, anonymity, and sex work.

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Posture is a queer-run art and fashion magazine that features the most brilliant and rebellious creators of our time.