Try not to crack a smile at the sight of a polar bear crashing human picnics, photo-bombing social soirées, and seemingly just trying to fit in. That’s the challenge when perusing TeddyBär, a new photo book featuring dozens of bizarre photographs taken in Germany between the 1920s and ’60s featuring improbable cameos by a man in a bear costume and collected by French editor Jean-Marie Donat.
Unfortunately, the history behind the bear costume in many of the images is darker than you’d expect. It was created by the German stuffed animal company Steiff as a mascot for Fanta, the carbonated soda invented in Germany during World War II to make up for the shortage of Coca-Cola. Look a bit closer and you’ll see Nazi insignia and swastikas on the uniforms of soldiers linking arms with the bear and the dress of a smiling girl leaning in for a hug. The polar bear comes to symbolize the German desire to pretend things were normal — to enjoy a fizzy drink, pose for a silly photo with a furry friend — and ignore the fact that grizzly death was swirling all around.
Jean-Marie Donat’s TeddyBär series is currently on view at Les Rencontres de la Photographie at Arles 2015, through September 20.
What would it look like if museums turned their billions toward positive good instead of questionable investments simply for profit?
Patricio Guzmán combines reflection on the past, observation of the present, and hope for the future into an expansive vision of all the ideas he’s explored in his work.
Artists reflect on histories of oppressive power structures in Brazil in this exhibition at the Visual Arts Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
So closely do Disney’s animators assimilate the sensibility of French design that on occasion their source material appears almost more Disney than Disney itself.
The Grand Avenue Billboard Project enables artists like Karen Fiorito to publicly express their political views.
The museum opens to the public on October 8 with a 24-hour kickoff and a rebooted California Biennial.
The report estimates that 6.7 million Indigenous objects and human remains continue to be held in Canadian institutions, most of which do not have formal repatriation policies.
Funding options at UB include full-tuition scholarships for MFA students, the Arthur A. Schomburg Fellowship Program, and additional opportunities for MA students.
The Association of Art Museum Directors announced a shift in its longstanding policy, which restricted the use of funds from sales of art to new acquisitions only.
Martín Mobarak may have broken Mexican law, but he burned the proof.
Your list of must-see, fun, insightful, and very Los Angeles art events this month, including the Maya Codex of Mexico at the Getty, Beatrice Wood, Trenton Doyle Hancock, and more.