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Skinless bear sculptures expose embroidered anatomy

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Black bear flayed
Black bear flayed

An artist has crafted three life-sized sculptures that reveal the internal anatomy of bears. Titled Flayed Bears, the trio were made by Deborah Simon from a clay, wire, and faux fur, and each shows a different part of its anatomy through an embroidered coat. A black bear proudly displays its spinal cord and parts of its nervous system; the polar bear's circulatory system branches out across its torso; and a grizzly bear's digestive tract (minus a stomach) travels from its mouth to its colon. It's a stunningly ornamental — if not particularly accurate — demonstration of what lies beneath a bear's fur.


"Bears are the ultimate stuffed animals," explains Simon, "both the iconic plush toy and the prized taxidermy specimen for hunters." In creating Flayed Bears, Simon attempts to address vulnerability of bears in our increasingly urban world, while highlighting the dichotomy between the "defanged, declawed childhood toy and the reality of a top predator."