Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Bear Men & Bears

Dale Wittig, San Francisco CA
Acrylic on Canvas, June 2016

Sixteen black and white paintings, painted on a single large canvas and cut into strips, depicting South American, Mexican, Russian and South Asian men who identify as Bears, juxtaposed with Kodiak, Grizzly, American Black and Malaysian Sun Bears.

The Bear Men depicted are drawn from Internet photographs from various international Bear sites, particularly Indian Bears and Osos de Ecuador.  The images of Bears come from a series of specific searches focusing on Malaysian Sun Bears, Kodiak Bears, Grizzly Bears and North American Black Bears.  Right now quite a few species of Bears are threatened with extinction due to hunting, environmental devastation, territorial encroachment by humans and climate change. In bringing these two subjects together one may assume that I’m being facilely literal, simply repeating a visual pun for base amusement.  I was hoping, rather, to explore a poignant and possibly fragile identification with apparently universal appeal.

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