Bear Kirkpatrick: Wall Portraits


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© Bear Kirkpatrick

Disappear with us into the odd, enchanted world of Bear Kirkpatrick. 

Bear Kirkpatrick and I bonded, over his portfolio at the PhotoNOLA reviews last December, and thereafter. This is my favourite of his series and the images have grown and grown on me the more I examine them. Playing around in the studio, the photographer found that covering a model's usually visually dominant hair, he could create a wild yet ethereal image. 

I'm really pleased to present these portraits in full screen. Prints, they look gorgeous, but I'm particularly loving these back-lit in the mag.

Bear is a poetic, astute and highly amusing sort of chap. In the past, he has gone to great lengths to create his multifaceted imagery; the Wall Portraits were more of a happy accident (and remind me of Yousuf Karsh's story of pulling down the curtains to make his gorgeous portrait of Betty Low.) 

Aged 5 Bear was diagnosed as deaf; his hearing was repaired, and he says "I have been transfixed, fascinated, and frightened ever since by things that reveal their power to change shape or that contain multiples within." 

I can't really say it anywhere near better than Brian Kubarycz writing on the photographer's website:

"This madness to hazard contact with the wild is constantly acted out in the art of Bear Kirkpatrick. His project is to experience and question what it means not merely to bide time in the worldly state, but far more actively and intimately, to have and to hold an only world, unto death, but in the expectation of new living creatures of awful energies. Kirkpatrick's art, from its first conception to the full arrival of its finished form, explores the ongoing adventure of creation one must take up and sustain in order to inhabit a world of one's own, the sole world worth inhabiting."

View the full screen magazine photography feature.
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