Disguised as huggable bears, ‘glamorous’ pillows or cult objects, the soft sculptures named “Teddy Love Me!” by Isabelle Gros (painter, sculptor, designer) “invade” our homes, sit comfortably on our sofas, replace our “Safety Blankets,” and even accompany us wherever we go.
The shape of a “Teddy Love Me!” sculpture is that of a female torso in many colors and materials, from as examples a jeans blue, lush red velvet, silver skin-like vinyl to structured linen with an ‘American flag’ design. The superimposed lips, at times with a tongue shaped ‘pocket’ give the sculptures a Man Ray-like surreal aspect, each unique piece bearing its own character and personality.
“Teddy Love Me!” by Isabelle Gros got its inspiration from fashion, art and design. Recalling the soft sculptures by Claes Oldenburg and the whimsical objects from balloons to Vuitton handbags by Takashi Murakami, Gros’ sculptures can be seen both as decorative and as a unique art object. They can be as useful as a fashion accessory and as huggable as a teddy bear (for grown-ups and kids alike!).
Isabelle Gros derives inspiration from fashion trends and design techniques to create unique sculptures. She utilizes a regressive symbolism that is she makes use of the tactile to create a piece of art that associates itself with the everyday. She blurs the lines between high and low culture and creates an “art-tickle”, an object that transcends the boundaries of that which is traditionally sculptural and creates a ‘soft sculpture’. The driving force is to overcome the distance between the viewer and the oeuvre d’art, by allowing for an interaction to take place between the art and its public. It is all at once a decorative object and a comforting one, as it is a ‘teddy’ or a ‘stuffed character’ – for adults that is! The work of art becomes also a useful object, one that embodies, in more ways than one, our needs, our desires, and above all it is democratically accessible.