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Who Is rg_bunny1: An Instagram Whodunit

Who Is rg_bunny1: An Instagram Whodunit

Speaking by telephone from the California desert, the painter Jack Pierson recently took a stab at identifying rg_bunny1. “I’ve decided he’s some art/fashion writer from Germany or something, somebody that, before the internet, was on local weird art TV in Berlin,” said Mr. Pierson, whose occasional direct message exchanges with rg_bunny1 ended abruptly one day when he posed the obvious question. “I asked, ‘Who is this?’” He stopped answering. It’s just annoying that he won’t ever reveal himself, although part of what I should let go of is guessing who this person is.”

If no one seems to know, many hold theories. Surely it is David Rimanelli, some said, before a Timothy Greenfield-Sanders portrait of Mr. Rimanelli, an Artforum critic, turned up on the rg_bunny1 feed. (“Uh, no,” Mr. Rimanelli said in response to a reporter’s query. “People ask me this every week.”)

Or it is the worldly and socially well-connected Los Angeles painter Robyn Geddes (“I asked if we knew each other, and he sort of evaded the question,” Mr. Geddes wrote of the Instagram sphinx, adding that “he won’t answer a question directly.”) Conceivably, it is the globe-trotting art dealer Tobias Meyer.

Or perhaps, suggested Christine Coulson, a novelist and rg_bunny1 follower, “It’s a very precocious 13-year-old.”

Like many on rg_bunny1’s list, Ms. Coulson has no clear recollection of how rg_bunny1 first appeared in her Instagram feed. Once linked to him on social media, she began to consider the account, with its torrent of posts, either a form of visual catnip or a nuisance.

“I follow, like, 600 people, and some days half my feed is rg_bunny1,” Ms. Coulson said. “For whatever reason, he has great art, great people and is clearly speaking to a certain generation,” she said, particularly when posting about characters like the Karl Lagerfeld muse Ines de la Fressange or the storied eccentric Marquesa Casati, or Andy Warhol’s business manager, the elegant and self-invented Texan Fred Hughes. “And there’s no nature, no food and no selfies, and for me that’s a big plus.”


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