Nosy Neighbor: Have you seen this inflatable lit-up “peace” puppy or bear?

Both J. and C. sent word: Have you seen this inflatable lit-up “peace” puppy or bear that is on top of a building on Church between Franklin and White?

And while I had not, I could tell it was the Friedrichs Pontone gallery building (273 Church) and shot a note to Martin Friedrichs: Do you guys have anything to do with the peace bear on your roof? And the response: Yes, we do!

The 14-foot bear is part of an exhibit of work (up till Sept. 30) by Korean sculptor Im Jibin, who is known for his trademark ‘Bear’ motif, a toy-like schematic figure that is presented in a multitude of colors and surface finishes, as if it were a commercial, branded product. There are a variety of iterations at various scales: some are simply heads, some whole and some free-standing. Most are designed to hang on a wall and are carefully arranged in regimented groups to reflect the retail world.

Jibin also works with inflatable versions of his bear, which he places in public spaces to introduce his work to a broader audience — something he calls his ‘Everywhere’ project.

Jibin placed the word “peace” in the position of the face, in the hope that it would be “a brief moment to remind passersby living in an unstable modern society, rife with war, climate change and an epidemic, of a peaceful day,” the gallery wrote on its release. “The artist often speaks of consumer capitalism and its promotion of ‘insatiable appetite’…Satisfaction appears to be guaranteed until the next version of the bear is released – a sensation which is familiar to all in the hyper-commercialized, developed world. This artist makes clear that the art market is, apart from its cultural concerns, very much a market, subject to all the familiar wants and perceived needs of its participants.”

Im Jibin ‘Bears’
friedrichs pontone
273 Church | Franklin & White
Sept. 7 – 30


1 Comment

  1. The bear is right!