Deborah Simon's stuffed faux bears aren't your typical teddies. Instead of furry backs and bellies, these sculptures come with anatomical features embroidered on their hides.
Simon made her Ursus maritimus (polar bear), Ursus arctos horribilis (grizzly bear), and Ursus americanus (American black bear) from polymer clay, faux fur, linen, embroidery floss, acrylic paint, glass, wire and foam, creating sculptures with realistic heads and paws that are embellished with embroidered with parts of the nervous, circulatory, and digestive systems. Here is how Simon describes her work:
My work walks the line between taxidermy, toy and sculpture. Each animal is meticulously fabricated to create an unnervingly accurate but slightly off version of the natural animal. Evolution has always held a particular fascination for me, informing how I create and group the animals in my work. As I've read and dug through museum collections to research my pieces, western science's mania for labeling, codifying and collecting has stood out. Most of this categorizing bears little resemblance to how animals and plants exist out in the natural world and I find this disconnect fascinating.