For years we have seen teddybears in all shapes and sizes to decorate children’s spaces.
At some point there was such an overkill of cutesy sugary bears that I just started disliking them a lot.
And never ever thought they would make a comeback.
But I somehow changed my mind on it recently.
The current illustrators with their loose and sometimes clumsy way of drawing have created a New Bear Look.
Not a teddybear, that is for sure.
It’s a look that was very visible in Beth van Hoesen’s work- see my last post-
she painted no cuddly sugary ones, but strong bears, and big bears, Real Bears!
There are many more like them around now. Like the paper mache bear of Abigail Brown.
I was struck by a beautiful mural on a wall of Marly Gommans house I spotted on Bloesem blogs-
it turned out to be designed by Lieke van der Vorst. Her bears are Real Bears, like Beth’s bear.
Amy Dover draws bears like that. Her ‘Henrietta” is a wonderful drawing in black and white, that just points to the feeling these ‘real bears’ give. They are huge and although fierce- give you a sense of secureness.
Their size almost reminds you of Maurice Sendak’s Wild Things. Which brings me to his ever so lovely books of Little Bear. I grew up reading these, and although Little Bear is cute and cuddly, he never stopped to be his very self.
A very free little bear.
And maybe that is what I like so much about the New Bear these days.
Their sense of freedom and individuality.
For me the Bear is Back.
(original blog placement May 31, 2013)