Chris Crites is working through a book of pre-1960 mug shots, making portraits of every thief, grifter, and murderer in it, like both a reanimator and a categorical scientist. Working with a vivid and artificial palette, his colors pool into the spilled-mercury-like globules of a paint-by-number composition. This handsome con artist lacks the mussed hair and the demented/threatening expressions typical of Crites's subjects, but the swirl of shadow and contour twists his features. He is a leering, bright ghost, an electric stamp of a man who has done evil and, likely, done died.
Crites executed his first acrylic-on-bag painting in 1999 and has been mining grocery stores for materials since. These brown fibrous substrates, ragged around the edges, give Crites's paintings the tactile quality of old, handled objects. Unlike the light-hogging surface of a white paper or canvas, the bags make his paint shine, like neon in the night.