Bear Surprise

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The painting has a speech balloon from the bear which reads "Surprise!".

Bear Surprise (often dubbed just "Surprise!") is a watercolor painting by American painter/musician John Lurie, the style of which has been described as primitivist and naïve.[1] The painting depicts a couple having sex in a meadow, with a bear standing in front of them, with fore paws in a distinctive position. There is a speech bubble beside the head of the bear which reads "Surprise!".

The painting features in a popular internet meme in the Russian online culture. It has been described by Victor Sonkin in the The Moscow Times as having "gained vast popularity with the speed of an avalanche."[1] Its popularity in Runet led to the bear's speech balloon being changed from "Surprise" to "Preved", a made-up word that combines the Russian word "privet" (hello or hi) and "medved'" (bear). The title eventually became known as "Preved Medved" (translation "Hello Bear").[2]


  1. ^ a b Sonkin, Victor (2006-05-12). "The "preved" phenomenon". The Moscow Times. Retrieved 2013-01-25. 
  2. ^ Khrestin, Igor (2007-03-19). "From Russia, With Bear". The American. Archived from the original on 5 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 

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