Chris Crites




  • B.A.

    • San Jose State University, San Jose, CA. Art, General Studio Practice. Magna cum laude
  • A.A.

    • College of San Mateo, San Mateo, CA. Technical Arts/Graphics


  • 2010

    • Yard Waste and Toilet Paper, Rock DeMent Visual Art Space; Seattle, WA.
    • Arrested Moments, 360SEE; Chicago, IL.
  • 2009

    • America, Ampersand; Portland, OR.
    • Busted, PULP; Omaha, NE.
    • About: Face, Roq la Rue; Seattle, WA.
    • Merde Skateboard Launch and show, The Life Gallery; Portland OR.
  • 2008

    • GUN SHOW, Roq la Rue; Seattle, WA.
    • Paper Boat Boutique & Gallery, Milwaukee, WI
  • 2007

    • San Francisco: 1940’s (Curated by Jes Muse), The Salon; San Francisco, CA.
    • sans Silver Lining: Portraits of mushroom clouds and the men who made them, Victrola Coffee and Art; Seattle, WA.
    • BAD TIMES, Some Space Gallery; Seattle, WA.
  • 2006

    • San Francisco: 1940 - 1942, Bluebottle Gallery; Seattle, WA.
    • I Was Proud of My Crime (Curated by Jess Van Nostrand), Joe Bar; Seattle, WA.
    • Not Again: the 1980’s (the Decade that wouldn’t go away), 20Twenty; Seattle, WA.
  • 2005

    • Criminally Vulgar, Kuhlman; Seattle, WA.
    • A Crime For Every Occasion, OKOK; Seattle, WA.
  • 2004

    • Count on Getting Caught (Curated by Jess Van Nostrand), Joe Bar; Seattle, WA.


  • 2011

    • cold comfort, Jack Fischer Gallery; San Francisco, CA.
    • Transformation(s), SAM Gallery; Seattle, WA.
  • 2010

    • A Morris Graves Centenary Exhibition & Séance (Co-curated with Charles Krafft, Larry Reid & Stephen Rock), Rock|DeMent Visual Art Space; Seattle, WA.
    • Secret Drawings, Palo Alto Art Center; Palo Alto, CA.
    • Diverse Chorus (Curated by Kevin Taylor), SCOOP Contemporary; Charleston, SC.
    • San Francisco Fine Art Fair (With Jack Fischer Gallery); San Francisco, CA.
    • Partisan Exhibition (Part of Art Chicago, with Baer Ridgway Exhibitions); Chicago, IL.
  • 2009

    • TwoThousandTen, Flatcolor Gallery; Seattle, WA.
    • SEAF (Seattle Erotic Art Festival), Seattle Center Exhibition Center; Seattle, WA.
    • Dark Americana, Baer Ridgway Exhibitions; San Francisco, CA.
    • Introductions 2009; SAM Gallery, Seattle, WA.
  • 2008

    • AQUA Art Fair, Aqua Hotel (during Art Basel Miami); Miami Beach, FL.
    • Brad Benedict’s 20th Anniversary Sideshow “Moods for Moderns”, Robert Berman Gallery; Santa Monica, CA.
    • Red Dot Fair, (with Jack Fischer Gallery, SF, CA); New York, NY.
    • The Out of Towners, Bogda Gallery; Jacksonville, FL.
  • 2007

    • Red Dot Fair, (with Jack Fischer Gallery, SF, CA); Miami Beach, FL.
    • What A Fun Guy - the Mushroom Show, Bird and Bear Gallery; Lauderhill, FL,
    • Lowbrow on the High Seas, JEM Gallery; Vancouver, Canada.
    • Sex & Science, Bird and Bear Gallery; Lauderhill, FL.
    • The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, Corridor Gallery, Gallery OK, Mnemonic Gallery; Seattle, WA.
    • 9th and Liberty; Jacksonville, FL.
    • Everything But The Kitschen Sync, La Luz de Jesus Gallery; Los Angeles, CA.
    • 2007 Seattle Erotic Art Festival, The Fenix; Seattle, WA.
    • Big Bully, 20Twenty; Seattle, WA.


  • 2010

    • ARTWORKS magazine, 4 pages with interview by Kiera Scholten, Spring.
    • Redefine magazine, 4 pages with interview by Vivian Hua, January-February.
  • 2009

    • EdgyCute: From Neo-Pop to Low Brow and Back Again, book, September.
    • Art Access magazine - cover and article, June.
    • the Stranger, weekly paper - cover, March.
    • Seattle, magazine, page 73, February.
  • 2008

    • the Stranger, weekly paper - cover, November.

Artist Statement

Years ago I saw a book of black and white crime photographs from the past. I found it amazing. The characters and crime scenes looked like surreal glimpses into the history of human interaction. Much more intriguing for me were the mug shots. Portraits of people who had just been caught. Despair, frustration, anger – so many expressions could be read on the faces. Each one of these images has a story. Often times I have no idea what the real story is, but it’s hard not to make one up. One of the reasons I paint them is to bring out another possible story, for people to look at and think about. The majority of the images I base my paintings on are from the 1890’s through 1950’s.

Originally I began using charcoal and white conte´ crayon on paper bag. The way the wrinkles, folds and texture added to the piece really appealed to me. In 1999 I painted my first 4 mug shots in acrylic on paper bag with a limited palette of 5 colors each. Paper bag has been my main substrate ever since. Brightly colored acrylics have a different effect on the brown bag than on a typical white backing.

I try to bring new life to these practically discarded portraits of criminal and human history. Using an everyday, disposable item as the surface gives new life to the bag as well. It is my hope to get people thinking about the past, their present, and how we all affect both.