I came across an article in the latest issue of BÄRREPORT magazine (a German teddy bear magazine) and I couldn't not believe my eyes when I saw an article about an American Artist (and I use that word very lightly) called Kent Rogowski. This "artist" has published a book of teddy bears. "Oh how lovely" I can hear you thinking; but don't be mistaken : these teddy bears have been cut open and turned inside out . The result is in my opinion just horrible.
According to the article the artist wants to put into focus the conflict between the teddy bear as symbol of the innocence of childhood and the cruel reality of childhood (as represented by the teddy being turned inside out).
Now I know that some of you have much more liberal opinions than I about what is acceptable and maybe even beautiful (and maybe even "art"), but for me this is just going too far and I am amazed that a reputable teddy bear magazine would dedicate a whole article to this. (By the way, the book is available at Amazon for US$ 18,96 ).
I will let you judge for yourselves :
I hope I haven't caused any of you nightmares ....
Peter & the bears
Yes, I totally agree, Peter, his idea is really cock-eyed. The teddy hits at the core of innocence & childhood. We do wish he'd chosen another symbol...
But what I'm mostly up-in-arms about is this: (IF THESE ARE WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE) - What a rip-off!! To trade on someone else's work, be it an artist's work or a manufactured bear doesn't matter - this is total 'material' plagiarism!
Whoever this 'author' is, he should be severely castigated for using others' work.
The least he should have done is create his own bears.
One needs to give credit when using someone else's work: I'm not sure if I'd like to have my work identified if one were mine!!
Anyone who turns the teddy bear into a representation of something other than warm fuzzies and innocense needs some serious counseling in my opinion. They've clearly got issues. They don't need to push their horrible childhoods on the rest of us. Just get a therapist.
Sadly, people from all walks of life turn all sorts of otherwise innocent objects, subjects, things into representations of their twisted, sicko minds.
For the magazine to run that article: Tacky. In my opinion.
Disturbing... Since art usually comes from what is inside us, what is most important to us, it sounds like he must have had a horrible childhood. And it seems it was one without a teddy bear to hug. Those poor teddy bears! Personally, I wouldn't have put this in a teddy bear magazine as I don't think it requires any talent or skill to do this. It is also something that I don't think most teddy bear artists/collectors want to see.
I did some research and watched many many interviews of this artist and read many interviews. I get it, I understand it I know where he's coming from. I can't say I agree with cutting up a teddy bear, his work is thought provoking and is meant to create discussions as any other art work should do. It looks as though he has done that even on this forum.
I like this quote directly from the Artist.
These bears, which have lived and loved and lost as much as their owners, have suffered and endured through it all. It is by virtue of revealing their inner core might we better understand our own.
I think the magazine did a wonderful job in having the guts (no pun intended) to do this interview and to publish it in their magazine. Good for them and I for one applaud them for doing this. We don't know to much about his background or his childhood. He does mention in one interview that he could not afford therapy so it does seem there may be something below the surface.
I agree with Alison and think this could be something to do with being abused, this is a topic very close to me as I have a very good friend who was sexually abused by her father for many many yrs and then physically abused by her mother. On numerous occasions we talked and discussed it and she said many times it was like being turned inside out. A teddy bear is a childhood friend and protector, but by doing what he is doing it drives home this point, that these abused children are being turned inside out. Each to their own opinion but I think we should all stop and think a bit about the art instead of just saying it's ugly and horrible. So is sexual abuse and physical abuse , those children wear those scars and bruises everyday, just like these inside out bears do now.
Sorry just a tough subject for me and I'm not trying to offend anyone, I just think a lot of people are missing the point of this book.
Thanks Shane, for explaining this guys art. He seems to be making a statement with his art. As teddy bears artists we see this as ugly and why would any one what to do this as we see the world all warm and fuzzy with a teddy bear but the world is not always warm and fuzzy. Abuse happens and there are those who use their art to depict this. I personally don't like it but, art is in the eye of the beholder and for this we have to respect what he does.
I hope I don't get yelled at for saying this but I really think that these bears are not hideous at all. I understand that the artist is trying to make a point about childhood, but look at some of them, even turned inside out, they are still kind of cute to me in an oddball kind of way. I guess to me even the most misshapen of teddies still holds it's charm. I am weird.
Joanne... you made me smile - who could yell at you? :hug: We all have our own tastes and should feel free to express them.
I do think that teddy bear art in a regular teddy bear magazine shouldn't be shocking or upsetting... there are other places to raise awareness of sensitive issues.
You might be right Melissa but as some have pointed out they are not shocked or upset by his art work. Again I think to each their own and there are a lot of bears that have fuzzy fur that I don't care for but that's just my opinion, other people may very well love them. It's very much like paintings, I can really love a canvas that has just paint splatters on it and others may look at it and say it garbage. I think it's great to have an opinion just like you said, but none of us have to agree :hug: :hug: .
If this is his way of releasing the small voice inside him that enables him to express his feelings then who can object. There are far worse ways to vent ones anger at what has happened in their lives than to distort a few teddy bears. I actually think the analogy and imagery is quite apt and effective. Quite clever in my opinion...on the surface I wouldn't like the resulting teddy...but I like his method of expressing himself ...it says what he needs to say and delivers the message very succinctly.
As Maria said, thanks Shane for taking the time to look into this. Whilst they'll never be to my taste I think it's a very different way for the artist to make his point? Guess it goes to show that I shouldn't always jump to conclusions without knowing the full story first? Do still, however, question why they were put in a bear enthusiast's mag?
Luv & Hugs,
The Teddy Bear is much more than a physical object. It is a symbol. It is a symbol of love, caring and enduring loyalty.
It is precisely because we know that some childrens' lives are not as happy as we wish that they should be that we have created the Teddy Bear. The Bear comforts sad, frightened children. He is their confidante when they are sad and unsure of life. A child's Teddy Bear is ALWAYS THERE and is ALWAYS READY to help a child endure whatever adversity comes his or her way.
This is a VERY important symbolism which we have created for the Teddy Bear. People who make Teddy Bears make them just for that reason. It doesn't matter whether it is a collectible Teddy Bear or one which will sleep in the crib with a newborn baby. A Bear is a Bear. It is important to keep this symbolism intact for future generations of children so that they may have comfort in times of sadness and fear.
To turn a Teddy Bear inside out is to INVERT the symbolism of the Bear. This turns the Bear into a symbol of UNcaring! Anybody who claims that this is art is not thinking very well. Just about the only thing I can think is that he is practicing the art of mental masturbation. The guy is an unthinking idiot who has no grasp on what the Teddy Bear really means. All he is doing is grasping at straws and playing with concepts in order to make a name for himself.
It is my advice that we do not respond to idiots like this. To do so only validates their point. The best thing we can do is to IGNORE bums like this and hope that they fade off into obscurity.