Bear Kirkpatrick’s forbearers were an ad hoc mixture of adventurer-navigators, naturalists, whalers, Puritans, dissidents, judges, and witches. He was born in the American south to a mother raised in Brahmin Boston and to a Harvard-educated geologist father who, several days after Bear’s birth, was sent across the world to war in the jungles of Southeast Asia. His upbringing was scattered across the Eastern seaboard, resting longest on a farm in New Hampshire during his teen years where he learned the survival skills of tracking, fishing, and hunting. He was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy, the University of Michigan, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has made his living by turns as a stone-wall builder, roofer, mason’s tender, bookkeeper, furniture builder, and video art installer.
Bear Kirkpatrick defines his imagery as evidence, documents of past and present human psychological states. He is presently working to develop a model to prove that acquired characteristics are not only inheritable as a result of natural selection and artificial selection, but also as the result of psychological selection as created by the environmental pressure of human memory.
His work has been exhibited at Daniel Cooney Fine Art, 555 Gallery, Flowers Gallery, the Center for Fine Art Photography, Corden-Potts, Rayko, photo-eye Gallery, Houston Center for Photography, wall space Gallery, Drift Gallery, jdc Fine Art, Bowersock Gallery, and the Corey Daniels Gallery.
His work has been honored with the 2013 & 2014 Critical Mass Finalist Selection, the NH Charitable Foundation’s Artist Advancement Grant, Amy Arbus’ Curator’s Selection at The Center for Fine Art Photography’s 2014 Portraits Exhibition, and 3 International Photography Awards.
He has solo exhibitions presently at The Center for Fine Art Photography in Ft. Collins and jdc Fine Art in San Diego, and forthcoming at 555 Gallery in Boston.
Bear Kirkpatrick lives and works in Portsmouth, NH.