1983 · [Lake Oswego, Oregon]
Portland-area artist Gloria Alten (1923-2014) created a line of greeting cards she illustrated by photographing scenes with stuffed bears, for what appears to be her long-running project entitled "Glances." Here, her process is somewhat visible; with the finished product presented alongside the rejected pictures one can begin to notice the difference between nearly identical shots. A slightly different lighting pattern on a scene can change the mood completely.
Many scenes were arranged by month-February is Valentine's Day, April is tax time, and so on. Often a bear is seen wearing an "I Love Oregon" shirt and occasionally there is a Portland-area theme. Overall, an odd collection of images in which the photographer seems to approach with certain earnestness. For example, a scene for February, 1984 includes a copy of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. A book so over-used as shorthand for dystopia is here placed next to a smiling stuffed bear without the slightest hint of irony, as if Alten is happily enjoying the coincidence. . (Inventory #: 140940842)