This month marks the 10 Year anniversary of The Pink Bear, the come-to-life Pop Art creation by contemporary Artist Paul Robinson AKA LUAP. LUAP is an esteemed adventure artist who fuses travel, adventure, photography and art; over the past decade he has travelled the world taking his creation to the mountains, surreal landscapes, cities and remote spots in far-away places, juxtaposing them in stark contrast beautifully with his central figure and loan anti-hero The Pink Bear. LUAP takes his vision above and beyond to construct the perfect shot choosing unique, extreme and visually awe-inspiring destinations across the globe.
The Pink Bear narrative roams from Death Valley in Nevada and Chile’s Atacama Desert (the driest place on earth) to Argentina’s Perito Moreno Glacier, the streets of Manhattan, and also Indonesia – home to pink beaches and wild Komodo Dragons. LUAP has taken his art all through Europe, North & South America, Africa, Asia and Australasia – a ten year quest to the planet’s most extreme and stunning landscapes to craft striking Pink Bear images. No aspiration too high, in 2022 the artist plans to bring The Pink Bear to the ultimate location – Mount Everest.
Existing in and between physical and surreal environments, The Pink Bear has found its place in the world today. He represents both personal history and the artist’s alter ego; he is the anti-hero of LUAP’s work – often conflicted and alone – his face expressionless. The Pink Bear searches for purpose and connection as it navigates through life, LUAP sees him as a relatable symbol of hope.
With his forthcoming art trips postponed, including a September expedition with The Pink Bear to the one of the world’s most remote destinations the Altai Region in Mongolia, where he planned to live with nomadic people The Eagle Hunters, LUAP has spent the lockdown in his East London studio finishing a series of paintings I’m Glad I Found You. The series features 10 paintings derived from his photography, including ‘Solidarity’, ‘The Absence of Distance’, ‘Freedom’ and ‘Happy Place’ depicting The Pink Bear – there is a theme of connection in this series, missed in current times. It also features a 366cm x 244cm oil and acrylic painting entirely created during lockdown ‘Portrait Of An Artist (One Figure And Three Bears)’ – After Hockney. While isolated with just his cat and confined to apartment and studio, the artist goes for a swim in his mind, reminiscing in this painting about travel and freedom. How will the Pandemic change travel as we know it in the future?
LUAP says “10 years ago The Pink Bear surfaced from a happy childhood memory whilst a dark shadow persistently clouded my mind. The Pink Bear has brought moments of joy and lightness, acting as a guiding light by bringing a sense of optimism and balance into my life.
At the end of the day we are all looking for happiness. It’s not always easy to see, and sometimes it can feel completely lost. But it is something that remains, even in what can feel like the darkest possible moments. I think there is something comforting in that fact and it helps bring balance to my life, knowing and accepting that some days are bad, but others will be better.”
Over the past weeks, having previously experienced first-hand how amazing the NHS is and knowing how at risk the NHS staff are by helping everyone on the frontline LUAP has given work directly to NHS front line workers aiming to bring a bit of cheer to their homes after a long day. People can nominate an NHS worker through LUAP’s Insta to be eligible for a valuable print or unique drawing by the artist. Hopefully making a small positive impact on their lives and mental well being.