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.
A new study details the creation of a hyper-flexible material inspired by an unexpected source: the humble sea cucumber.
The extensive exhibition confronts the Netherlands’s often-forgotten colonialist legacy.
The 1,600-year-old fragment was part of a dodecahedron, a mysterious object that experts believe may have been linked to the occult.
The Renaissance work by Francesco Salviati is the museum’s first painting on marble.
The 1969 exhibition 5 + 1, and now Revisiting 5 + 1, are reminders that the history of Black Art in the United States is diverse rather than monolithic.
The artist’s solo US museum debut at the Baltimore Museum of Art is a contemptuous, at times satirical, take on oppression that gives way to a new history.
Ten artists will receive studio space and access to faculty, staff, students, workshops, and programming at an arts institution in the heart of Philadelphia.
Who tells a tale adds a tail: Latin America and contemporary art explores contemporary Latin American art without conforming to external expectations.
Simulation Sketchbook takes as its starting point the reality that digital artists, like all artists, sketch out their work as well.
Twitter’s curbing of free API access could affect accounts posting from museum collections or the archives of long-gone artists.
How does a selective competition fit with the contemporary art world’s aspirations toward greater inclusivity?