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James Prosek

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Biography

James Prosek was born in 1975 in Easton, Connecticut, where he still resides.  A painter and fisherman since childhood, Prosek made his art and publishing debut at the age of 19 with his celebrated first book, Trout: An Illustrated History.  Since it first appeared, Prosek’s work has earned frequent comparison with that of John James Audubon, his earliest influence as a painter.  A leading expert on fly fishing, Prosek is the author of several books on the subject, including two for younger readers.  He is also emerging as an acclaimed outdoor and travel writer, known for the fresh and passionate quality of his prose.  In his fishing and painting, Prosek has traveled widely, often on a grand scale, such as his recent trip around the world along the 41st parallel.

 Prosek’s paintings have progressed over the last decade from the naturalistic cataloguing of Trout to more far-ranging subjects: landscapes, still lifes, and portraits.  His depictions of fish have also progressed, taking on a more heightened form of realism, sometimes even moving into the realm of the fanciful, such as paintings of a seahorse as Pegasus and a parrot-winged sailfish.  In spite of the comparison with and influence by Audubon, Prosek has said pure realism has never been his goal.  The point of his paintings, he has said, was to express his perception of natural world.

I’m less interested in the animals themselves than I am in the way we see them.  My paintings of trout are not depictions of actual fish; they are interpretations of those fish…The soul is more important to me than the object.

                                                                                                James Prosek

Whatever the subject matter, however realistic or fanciful the treatment, Prosek’s imagery is always rich, his technique flawless.  And fish and fishing, his original subject matter and passion, remain at the heart of his work.

James Prosek’s paintings have been featured in numerous group and solo exhibitions throughout the United States, most recently in the show James Prosek: Symmetry and Myth at Philadelphia’s Fleisher/Ollman Gallery.  He is the author of Trout: An Illustrated History (1996), Joe and Me: An Education in Fishing and Friendship (1997), The Complete Angler: A Connecticut Yankee Follows in the Footsteps of Walton (1999), Early Love and Brook Trout (2000), Fly-Fishing the 41st: Around the World on the 41st Parallel (2003), Trout of the World (2003), and the children’s book A Good Day’s Fishing (2004).