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 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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