Hennessy and Pratt Reunite for ‘Wild Rabbit’ Competition

Writer Nancy Lazarus hops over to Pratt Manhattan Gallery for a creative collaboration between Pratt Institute and Hennessy V.S.

Eduardo Palma
Pratt MFA student Eduardo Palma’s winning project, an interactive poster. (All photos: Pratt Institute/Peter Tannenbaum)

Pratt Institute once again teamed with Hennessy for the “Wild Rabbit” contest. The third annual competition challenged nine Pratt students from six creative disciplines to create works of art based on Hennessy’s M.O., “never stop, never settle,” symbolized by the constantly striving bunny brand icon. A panel of seven industry judges recently viewed the works at Pratt’s Manhattan Gallery and selected the top three winners, who will fly to Los Angeles next week for an event where their works will be on display in conjunction with the launch of a Shepard Fairey-designed bottle of Hennessy V.S. Multi-layered approaches marked the common themes for the winners, though they hailed from different geographic areas and interpreted the assignment differently. Here’s a look at the winning projects.

Eduardo Palma_1First place ($10,000): Eduardo Palma (at right), from Bogota, Colombia, MFA in communications design
His wild rabbit: Impacting culture through language
Es Mejor ser Rich que Poor (“It’s better to be rich than poor”) is the statement on Palma’s wall-size poster, set in Friz Quadrata. The surface layer shows a Latin American map in the tones of American currency, divided into cutouts of heavy cardstock.

Palma invited viewers and judges to remove the postcards, uncovering another saying, Plata or Plomo (“Money or Lead”). The quote is from Colombian drug trafficker Pablo Escobar, who enforced a bribes-or-bullets program. The bottom newsprint layer shows images in red, yellow, and blue—the colors of the Colombian flag—and depicts Escobar becoming Donald Trump.

“How language affects social struggles” was Palma’s focus, and he arranged the sayings in English and Spanish (aka ‘Spanglish’). “There’s a belief in my country that when you embrace English cultures, you’re progressing, but that’s not true,” he said. “People can be corrupted by money, so for me the slogan ‘It’s better to be rich than poor’ is now a slogan of corruption.”

Eden Daniell_1

Second place ($5,000): Eden Daniell, from Norwalk, Connecticut, BFA in fine art jewelry
Her wild rabbit: Challenging viewers to discover the unexpected
Daniell crafted a sharp-edged, silver etched ring (pictured) that opens in the middle to reveal a triptych of religious images in earthy shades of greenish brown. When fully opened, the ring spreads out across the entire hand, essentially becoming a shield of armor. “I designed the ring to serve as something secure,” Daniell said. She lives now in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, quite different to her original home in Connecticut. But she added that since sharpness doesn’t reflect her real identity, she created the delicate three-part image inside. The ring embodies her two worlds.

Lillian Ling_2

Third place ($2,500): Lillian Ling, from Columbia, Maryland, MFA in communications design
Her wild rabbit: Instigating cultural critique through design
Ling, a poet turned graphic designer, focused on “the necessary tools of a revolution” She created three images (pictured), including military emblems and a sundial, that turn “rock, paper, scissors” into a manifesto. We think Fairey would approve.

Nancy Lazarus is a frequent contributor to UnBeige.