The bear was given to me as a present from an artist friend. I think it was for my 21st birthday. Not much was known about the little guy’s origin, except that he was obviously handmade, and that he came from England. I have carried the bear with me for most of the time since the early ‘90s. He was one of the very few things I brought with me when I moved to New York in 1996.

Looking at the bear as the observer of often iconic locations helps to reevaluate our general sense of scale. If the photographed environments seem to be the right size for a one-and-a-half-inch toy (4.5cm), how much detail is lost when we look at the same place by ourselves—we, the giant blurry humans.

We used to be smaller, of course. We used to be able to observe a room from an odd angle; we used to be able to imagine being really tiny, imagine giant monsters in forgotten corners under sofas, or behind cabinets, or simply anywhere in the dark.

Some of the photographs are shot as if they were created with the mind of a German Romantic. There is a sense of melancholy, a sense of wonder, a curiosity perhaps. All of the images in the selection allow the viewer to rethink what photography does so incredibly well: it makes it possible for often very unlikely actors to peacefully coexist within a frame.

The images in the selection appear to be chronological, they appear to be a story. But this is yet another, much bigger illusion.


TMN Contributing Artist Witold Riedel is a draftsman, photographer, and writer who explores the often-unfamiliar corners of the seemingly familiar universe. He was born in Poland, lived in Germany (in the city where the Grimm Brothers were born, actually) for many years, yet is a New Yorker by choice. He recently moved to Brooklyn. More by Witold Riedel