Meet the Artist of Rabbitville’s 1st Rabbit: Matt Forderer


A little less than a month ago San Diego Artist Matt Forderer picked up his unique fiber glass rabbit shaped canvas and went to work creating the first Rabbit of the Rabbitville Public Art project commemorating the Gaslamp Quarter/ Downtown San Diego’s 150th Anniversary.

Matt Forderer is a classically trained artist from the Art Institute of Colorado, Denver, Mr. Forderer has lived and worked in San Diego for over 25 years. Specializing in contemporary/ surrealism, his public art murals and designs are in the following San Diego locations.

  • Escapology-Belmont Park, Mission Beach, San Diego
  • The Crack Shack restaurant, Little Italy, San Diego, CA
  • FLOWERSCOPE Billboard, G st. and 7th, San Diego, OpenWallsProject 2015
  • Green Acre Restaurant , and Nautilus 3 Science Center, La Jolla, CA
  • Green Acre 2 Restaurant , and UCSD’s Medical Research Center at Campus Point, La Jolla, CA
  • Farmer & Seahorse Restaurant and Alexandria at Torrey Pines Science Center La Jolla, CA
  • 2014 ART SAN DIEGO, art fair, 60′ Mural

His Solo exhibitions have been at different galleries around San Diego, and Group Exhibitions in San Diego, CA. Denver, Colorado and Yokohama, Japan.

Matt’s work consists of surrealist collages, mural’s, and describes his work as mixing up outer space with inner space; under sea and above the sea, collage elements and patterns. “It’s nature with a psychedelic tint” said Forderer.

Matt and the sculpture
Rabbits awaiting their artists

What is the name of your rabbit?

Matt: I don’t like to name my pieces, it sounds a little pretentious, but when I brought the sculpture into my studio and started creating him, his personality came through. I thought his name would be Willabee!

What is Willabee’s story?

Matt: He is a traveler, and a wise rabbit don’t you think? I wanted to use a sepia tone for his coat and different stencils for his whiskers, nose and around his body. I collaged historic Gaslamp Quarter images around Willoughby like the Jessop’s Clock, The Louis Bank of Commerce Building, and the stingrays.

Are you inspired by any particular artists or images?

Matt: When I was at art school I picked up a book of artwork by Salvador Dali that blew my mind. I also really enjoy collaging with the botanical works of Ernst Haeckel, who was a German biologist, naturalist, philosopher and artist. He promoted Charles Darwin’s work in Germany and as an artist created 100 detailed, multi-color illustrations of animals and sea creatures that are really beautiful. I like to collague with his work and photographs that I take and create contemplative psychedelia that are certainly not of this earth, but have a definite everyday peace about them, as if seeing nature scenes from another dimension.

“Willabee” is the first of 15 celebrities that will on exhibition, on different Gaslamp Quarter patios, in hotel lobby’s parks etc. commemorating the Gaslamp Quarter’s 150th Anniversary. Thank you Matt Forderer for creating such a fascinating piece, and bringing Willabee to life!

Stay tuned for more rabbits to come and eventually a map to where they will be “hopping” to next!