In my reading about rain forests and in my limited experience with jungles, it can seem as if all life begins in these primal settings. It is possible to believe that the health and life of our entire planet depends on these environments. Rampant growth and lush vegetation that can overwhelm compel us to seek I have executed a few paintings of groups of bears looking directly at the viewer, usually from behind a thicket of trees or bushes. Here, I wanted to pose these bears in a more open setting and in particular with an old birch tree stump which I had found in a painting by Giovanni-Battista Camuccini at the National Gallery in London. The contrast between the intense look of the bears, the massive decomposing tree and the fresh green grasses is what I find interesting. I hope this will allow the viewer a contemplation on the diversity of life and the passing of time.
- Robert Bissell