Thursday, August 6, 2009

Reiner the Bear refurbished

This is Reiner the Bear, the ugliest bonsai on then net. 50 cm high, around 200 years old, collected in Switzerlnad in 1992, pot by Derek Aspinall.
This tree has caused wars on the internet,. A few years ago on the IBC Gallery when I presented this I got outright insults, mainly from Reiner Goebel who at this time seemed the powers to be on the bonsai net. He just would not want to understand that art has nothing to do with beauty. Art absolutely does not have to be beautiful and can be great art. Well, at that time he would not even accept that bonsai was and art.
Anyway, hard to swallow for many: A good bonsai must impress you somehow. Usually it tries to impress you with beauty. But it ca also impress you with ugliness. And still be good.
It is alright to hate it though! So Reiner has fallen into oblivion by now, but he will live with 'Reiner the Bear'.


Anonymous said...

I guess some people keep their soul shut and cannot appreciate the hard work and the artistic touch of their fellow bonsai enthusiasts because simply they prefer it a bit different.

A tree like that could be somewhere in nature and would be appreciated for its roughness, wild beauty, struggle to survive.

This tree does not have to be beautiful in every person's eyes. It's like everything else in life: beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
We all tend to admire the 'plastic' beauty of the Japanese trees, (no offense, they are works of art, but they are too perfect to my eyes, like a plastic tree), but we forget that there are different philosophies, styles, each with a different beauty.

It definitely classifies as a naturalistic tree, no questions about it.

Well done Walter!

Don McCarthy said...

This is look like a tree to me and I like it that way. Trees can be beautiful in their grotesqueness and this is like that for me. The jinn are fabulous.

tim said...

Why do people have to go to the extent of insuting people over what their tree looks like , having found that "persons" site , i wasn't impressed they were "nice" trees but not exceptional . LONG LIVE "THE BEAR"

TpaBayFlyFisher said...

Wow!!! Thank you for creating it and for showing it to us.

Charles Mashburn said...

Dear Walter: I think Reiner the Bear has tremendous potential -- but if it were mine I would put it in a growing bed or training box for a few years to thicken the upper trunk. Frankly I think the tree looks like a troll vomiting his guts out the morning after an all night drinking binge -- but I mean that in a good way.

Ana said...

Good to hear that it is your turn to remind us that this three is supposed to be hideous and controversial!

Matt Williams said...

Walter, your photographs against the white background consistantly seem a little over exposed, perhaps you might try reducing the exposure as the deadwood blends into the background a bit?