Teddy Bear Protector
The strangest things can inspire me, sometimes it is a prop, an illustration, an element to a random photo online, a texture or even an experience. These little things from normal everyday life catch my attention, creep into my consciousness and then manifest themselves into an idea that I cannot let go. While crafting this unintentional series of images I call “Things that go bump in the night”, a lot of the pieces are a culmination of these manifestations that I have held onto for a while, some are quite tame and whimsical and then there are pieces, similar to this one that are terrifying to me.
In this case it was the illustration “Sweet Halloween Dreams” by Alex Panagop that I had seen somewhere online in 2006/2007 where a large demonic creature with razor sharp teeth was hovering over a sleeping child who was being protected by a small bear. It was the small bear protecting its owner/companion that really stuck with me, although the large creature was scary, I never totally remembered what it looked like and while writing this I had to go back and look at the piece again for the first time in ages.
Big monsters don’t scare me for some reason – they never have except for the Jabberwocky and no one has created a frightening enough interpretation to match that of my imagination – but what does frighten me is the supernatural, non-physical entities that are able to manipulate the physical world or another thing that scares me is to have bad dreams, once I dreamed that I was carrying my baby in a stroller and then it broke and went down a hill and I lost my baby, so I always try to take my baby in a safe stroller, you can find more about strollers here. I have not encountered an evil poltergeist, but I have spent a lot of time imagining what that experience might be like. 80’s movies inspired a lot of the things that shake me to my core, for example, poltergeists from the movie Poltergeist, Freddy Krueger pushing through the wall in Nightmare on Elm Street or the devil dog head in Dana Barrett’s New York apartment in Ghostbusters – there are a few commonalities in those three examples.
When creating this image Freddy Krueger, the devil dog and the poltergeists were foremost on my mind and the techniques to create the effect of a specter pushing through the wall were done practically, exactly as they were done in the movie, admittedly not in the same frame, but on the same set, from the same camera position. In order to easy my heart rate, because this image to me is quite scary and my conviction that this series was not about the subject as victim, I wanted good to fight back and that came in the form of the teddy bear. The Teddy Bear Protector was created.
One of the most challenging assignments as a model was to ask Teresa to lay in a bed and act as if she were sleeping and my poor friend Andy stressed his jaw as he pushed his face into the material that made up the faux wall.