Mural of cigarette-smoking bunnies is upsetting neighborhood

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A new painting on the outside of a restaurant has gotten mixed responses from neighbors. The mural of two rabbits suggesting they're having sex and smoking was finished this week on the side of Beholder, a restaurant in Indianapolis.

According to the owner of Beholder, Jonathan Brooks, the mural raising concerns was done by a graffiti artist from Los Angeles. Brooks said the artist was in town and was looking for places to leave her work and asked him if she could use the wall. Brooks said he didn't even know what the artist was going to do.

The artist goes by Jules Muck, and has put a little text bubble next to the rabbits that reads, "MUCK ROCK." The artist uses the handle @muckrock on Instagram.

Neighbors who live in the area have mixed feelings about the new display in the area.

"I got a great sense of humor and I got an act for art," said Johnnye Davis, who added the mural is more suitable for adults. "I see it from an artistic view."

However, Valerie Davis said she wants the rabbits painted over, adding she plans to talk to the owner of the building. "My issue with is its bunnies humping and it’s promoting cigarettes in the inner-city where people don’t need to be promoting unhealthy habits like that," she said. "That’s unacceptable and kids are walking. You’re right next to two schools. Elementary school and middle school kids are walking. Why do we have to explain to our kids?"

Matt Belsaas said the restaurant used to be an auto shop and that he and several neighbors used to get their oil changes there. He found it ironic that the new use is causing uproar.

"There’s nothing outright obscene with it, or nothing profane," Belsaas said. "I guess everyone is entitled to free speech without those things being there, but as a small business owner, I would pay more attention to making friends of all my neighbors and not trying to intentionally turn anyone against me. It’s his right to do that."

The owners of Beholder released the following statement Thursday afternoon:

We appreciate the interest and feedback from the community on Beholder’s new mural by Jules Muck, a prominent L.A. graffiti artist that we are honored to have in our great city. As a restaurant that thrives on creative exploration, we are inspired by local food, the surrounding community, and artists both local and national. We have invested in the near Eastside community, local food vendors, and many artists and artisans who contributed to the unique environment that is Beholder. Inside you will find custom tables and a gold plated bar by Herron graduate and local furniture maker Donald Mee, a mural by another Herron grad, Justin Cooper, along with graffiti by other local artists. On our plates, you find pears from Fruit Loop Acres right down the street as well as ingredients sourced from around the world. We have created this space and this food to encourage our community to explore culinary and cultural boundaries. Not everyone is going to get it - the food- the art - we understand that, but we will continue to support and contribute to the creative culture in Indianapolis.