Born in 1941 and turning to art as his primary focus in the 1970's, Lee James Pantas is a painter dedicated to helping save our earth's natural environment from further destruction, a mission highlighted by his current project, 'Liza's Reef', a ten-year series of paintings of an imaginary coral reef, accompanied by an environmental education website. Started in 2005, one of the facets of this project is to raise awareness of the growing environmental crisis in our oceans caused by human activity -widespread pollution, wholesale destruction of entire species, and the accelerating disappearance of coral reefs all over the world. Pantas' work, like that of Wyland, Christian Riese Lassen and other visionary painters of the ocean, is a call to action to stop this devastation before it is too late. His paintings are vibrant reminders of what we stand to lose if mankind cannot make the shift to a more sustainable and ecologically harmonious global society.
Prior to the Liza's Reef project, Pantas completed over 250 paintings, all of which, with rare exception, are in private, corporate or organizational collections. This earlier body of visionary work had as its primary focus the vast reaches of interstellar space, in surreal and fantastic visions of imaginary worlds, life forms and starry landscapes. A number of paintings in this period were also concerned with distinctly religious themes, reflections of a spiritual awakening the artist experienced at that time.
With degrees in biology and ecology as an educational foundation, self-taught as an artist, and influenced by a lifetime of study of religion, philosophy and science, Pantas shares a powerful vision that is uniquely his, and one that fuses two brilliantly colorful realms, the endless galaxies and stars of outer space and the magical reaches of earth's coral reefs. As noted by one reviewer, 'The process of painting itself is for Pantas part of his exploration into the unknown for he attempts to work with the prevailing natural and creative spiritual energies of the universe flowing though him in interaction with the media and the environment. This is a method that is akin to the artistic disciplines of the ancient Zen Masters in their paintings and works of calligraphy. It is also in accord with the latest discoveries of Modern Quantum Physics which recognize the active participation of the subject continually participating in the co-creation of objective reality.' The end results are extraordinarily exquisite and stunning presentations of surreal, supercharged nature, blends of fantasy and realism in a unique vein of visionary art that invite the viewer into a luminous world where harmony, surprise and wonder prevail.
Lee Pantas joined Fine Art America on December 25th, 2011.