The Bride Stripped Bear Daniel Reeves Iris Print on Arches Paper 31 x 110 cm, 1999
The Bride Stripped Bear is, with any luck, devoid of a single obvious or reductive meaning. During the process of construction I realized that I was working toward evoking the longing and mystery of the chimerical alchemy of marriage. Some years ago I bought a large packet of Brownie snapshots and negatives belonging to an apparently well off Scottish lady who took hundreds of photos during the 1920s as she traveled about the world. This is a union of two such snapshots, one of herself in front of cathedral ruins, looking down at the ground and somewhat lost, and another of a man looking into the distance while posing at the moat of a captive polar bear. There was a certain solitude and forlornness in most of the images of the lady wherever she appeared, and the man, although aloof, seemed to be scanning the edge of the play for something that had so far eluded him. In this painting I have tried to arrange a marriage for them under the warm glow of Mars to no avail. Although the tiger cannot be truly tamed, fear outweighs longing as Adam and Eve break and run from the garden.