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art paul of playboy: the man behind the bunny

71 mins (2018)

For its first 30 years of publication, Playboy magazine's eye-popping design and illustrations were the work of Art Paul, the graphic artist and trendsetter who was directly recruited by its founder and publisher, Hugh Hefner, in 1953. His sketch of the iconic tuxedoed bunny has ultimately come to define the Playboy brand internationally.

As Playboy's founding art director, Paul's visionary ideas and dedication to creative freedom were radical in the conservative 1950's. His pioneering design work single-handedly changed the landscape of the two-dimensional magazine. His experimentation with design and format - flip graphics, collages, custom die-cuts - enticed readers’ participation, a practice that would go on to be emulated by countless other publications. Prolific in multiple art forms until his passing in 2018 at age 93, Paul was a renaissance man who, at the height of his influence, commissioned works for Playboy magazine from the likes of Andy Warhol, LeRoy Neiman, Shel Silverstein, and Salvador Dali, which elevated both its profile and stature in the publishing industry.

Art Paul of Playboy: the Man Behind the Bunny peels back the curtain on the unsung innovator and visual architect of a national institution, whose creative contributions not only elevated the magazine's status and reputation but helped usher in a new cultural revolution. Narrated by Rick Kogan, and featuring interviews and commentary from Art‘s wife, Suzanne Seed, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, his daughter Christie Hefner, other print and art world luminaries such as Jonathan Hoenig, Jenny Gibbs, George Lois, Kerig Pope, and the man himself, this absorbing documentary explores the passion and creativity of a long and influential career, as exhibited throughout Art Paul’s life.