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I would describe my paintings - if I absolutely had to (which I don't really like to, because I don't necessarily understand them any more than my accountant does) - as comic books based on fine art with a sprinkle of the funny papers.

My first experience of art was through comic books. I read them avidly and still have a massive collection. But I began to see painting as something that made more sense to me: telling a story with a single image rather than a series of images. Mad magazine was also a huge early influence. It's humor and particular brand of comical satire I find even now have a big impact on my work. 

My paintings don't necessarily have a simple narrative story. Instead of a comic book that can carry on a story for months over many issues, I try to include different pieces and times of a story in a single frame. Hopefully to produce more of a feeling of a story than a literal interpretation of a story. Almost like taking the essential aspects and by showing the moments together they in turn tell more of a universal story - the moral of the story, or something humorously and irreverently equivalent.

Chris Protas studied painting at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA and The New York Studio School in Greenwich Village, NY.
He moved from Greenpoint, Brooklyn to West Michigan 6 years ago. He opened the Fire Barn Gallery in Grand Haven, MI with another New York artist 4 years ago.