PrintE-mail Written by Julian White

The Art of Luke Chueh - Bearing the Unbearable Review

Book Review: The Art of Luke Chueh - Bearing the Unbearable / Author: Luke Chueh / Publisher: Titan Books / Release Date: Out Now

Luke Chueh – pronounced “chew” for name-dropping purposes – is a luminary of the L.A.-based Pop-Surrealist art movement. Otherwise known as “the bear guy”, Chueh specializes in using cuddly anthropomorphic characters – mainly bears and rabbits, with the occasional monkey or chicken – to embody his personal demons in enchantingly comedic fashion. A teddy paints a target on his chest, a rabbit crops his ears with a pair of scissors to make himself look more like the bear on his T-shirt… Sporting cute titles such as My Happiness Is Riding Your Misery, the result is a form of hip, self-deprecating, confessional art with roots in the Californian singer-songwriter tradition and plenty to say about our image-obsessed popular culture.

This book gathers together over 200 of Cheuh's paintings. Being between hardcovers suits them very well – they read like panels from a great, lost underground graphic novel, somewhere between Art Spiegelman, Gilbert and George and the Rupert Bear parody in Oz. Titan have pulled out the stops in producing a handsome volume that faithfully captures Chueh's vibrant stained-glass palette.

But it's a shame that the text is so flimsy, amounting to no more than a few teasing paragraphs by the artist and some rambling tributes from colleagues (“Thank you for continuing to create. Thank you for creating a world of creative inspiration.” No, thank you, dude.) Given how witty Chueh obviously is, you can't help wishing a giant bunny had put a gun to his head and forced him to pen a long, indiscreet accompanying memoir. Nonetheless, Bearing the Unbearable is food for thought and a delight to the eye, as well as being a likely talking-point at furry conventions for years to come.

Suggested Articles:
Imagine that your innocuous-seeming travel business was the cover for an ultra-top secret agency of
In his 2006 obituary to Nigel Kneale, which opens this fascinating new book on the work of one of Br
The closing chapter of The Falconer trilogy, The Fallen Kingdom sees Aileana Kameron, a Victorian de
Wonder Woman and Philosophy really does what it says on the tin; it is a book that takes a deeper lo
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code

Sign up today!