As a child, artist Chris Panatier was labeled a kleptomaniac and a charlatan by his school officials. Such is the fate of us artistic types – writers, painters, musicians, poets, dancers – the self-righteous guardians of staid academia just don’t understand us. Pity them for they have no imaginations. If I could meet Chris, I’d probably give him a hug and tell him I feel his pain. But, like many artists, Chris never gave up his passion and is having the last word, as his work gains notoriety. His “Stranger Companions” show is currently on exhibition at the Rising Gallery in Dallas and will run through the end of July. His heavy oil abstracts literally leap out at the observer; engaging images that grab people’s attention and make them reconsider their view of the human form and other objects. Even a cursory examination of his artwork will prove that he’s different – beautifully, wonderfully different.