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The Bear is back

The Bear is back

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!


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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.
 

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Although cuddly too, there is no sugary sweet look and feel to them.
They are strong, you can see that, and they have something very respectful about them.

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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.


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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.


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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) 

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