Hamidah Glasgow on Bear Kirkpatrick: New Exhibition Ideas
Today, Hamidah Glasgow, Director of the Center for Fine Art Photography, writes about a recent exhibition at the Center featuring the work of Bear Kirkpatrick. Bear will be opening another exhibition at the JDC Fine Art Gallery in San Diego on December 12th and in the JDC Fine Art Gallery booth at Photo LA 2015 where he will have a video portrait on display.
One of the wonderful aspects of running a non-profit photography center is the freedom to be creative with the artists and work we show. Photography is growing as a medium and as artists embrace all of the available tools to manifest their vision – the Center for Fine Art Photography is fortunate to be able to offer space for artists to manifest that vision.
When Bear Kirkpatrick and I first discussed his solo show at the Center he asked if he could include a video piece. Of course, I said yes. A little later he emailed and asked if we could paint the walls a dark green. Again, I said yes. These question and answer emails went on for a while. “Can I hang curtains?” “What about installing a sound system?” “Is putting down carpeting ok?” “Will phototex be ok?” You get the idea. My answers were always yes; it is your space to create your vision. The constant yes is part of the trust that had been formed between Bear and myself over the period of time that he has shown work in the Centers juried exhibitions. His work is always stunning in its content and presentation. I knew that whatever he had in mind would be fantastic. Does this happen with all of the artists we work with, no. Sometimes the relationship is more traditional. Both types of working relationships are exciting for me – to be able to show artists’ work in the way they intend it to be seen is the honor that is my job.
Bear Kirkpatrick is a force to be reckoned with as he channels his artistic talents and creates work that challenges and excites the viewer. Kirkpatrick’s current show at the Center titled, Portraits, is an all-encompassing experience. Not only are the images compelling, mysterious and emotional, the portraits seem to come off the wall to meet you as you walk in the room. The layers of images that occupy the wall become another world that is comfortable yet slightly disturbing. The combination of creativity, pushing boundaries, combined with a deep understanding of literature, history, and the complexity of being human, all make Kirkpatrick and his work, simply remarkable.
The Centers mission is to assist artists and help make their visions come to life. We embrace and encourage the imaginative and broadening field of photography and photo-based artists ability to take us to new places. – Hamidah Glasgow
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