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.