Desire and Danger Collide in Suzy Kellems Dominik’s ‘Bear Attack-The Urban Bear’

Curators’ Corner

Desire and Danger Collide in Suzy Kellems Dominik’s ‘Bear Attack-The Urban Bear’

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“Be Alert. Make Noise. Carry Bear Spray. Avoid Hiking Alone. Do Not Run.” – Artist Suzy Kellems Dominik turns these helpful hiking tips for avoiding a bear attack into a riveting deconstruction of male-female interaction.

‘Bear Attack-The Urban Bear’ examines the underlying perils of love, vulnerability and compartmentalization in a series of flawlessly composed images set in San Francisco. A pulsating soundtrack takes viewers to a deeper state of thought as they move from the images to the “Cabinet of Curiosities,” an encased collection of representational items carpeted by a Black Bear taxidermy.

It’s no secret that women face a world of compromising situations involving men. “The Urban Bear,” as Kellems Dominik suggests, is everywhere. But if you’re tempted to write off ‘Bear Attack’ as an incriminating generalization of men, not so fast. Let the music play as key words echo their way to the foreground – Love, need, desire, educated, handsome.

“This is not an indictment of man; this is an indictment of The Bear,” Kellems Dominik says, adding that an “urban bear” may be hiding in any segment of society.

Kellems Dominik explores the phases of a young woman’s life, all of which pose dangers that exist far before they are recognized. The line between desire and danger is personified in the laughably harmless-looking bear lurking in each image.

“The message to women is that life is safe and beautiful, yet tragically dangerous,” Kellems Dominik says. “You have to be thoughtful, prepared and responsible for yourself.”

The exhibition, Kellems Dominik’s first solo show, was printed by Duggal and debuted at New York’s Onishi Gallery. Kellems Dominik will also bring Bear Attack to the Affordable Art Fair in New York April 2-6 before taking it to Denver, Chicago, San Francisco and Tokyo.


(Images courtesy of Suzy Kellems Dominik and Onishi Gallery)