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Capturing essence: The vibrant world of artist Chris Burbach

taylor swift framed painting Chris Burbach artist hot tub
Courtesy Chris Burbach

Embark on a journey with artist Chris Burbach, whose vibrant pop art portraits featured on The Pride Store capture the essence of celebrities and LGBTQ+ icons. is an LGBTQ-owned & operated e-commerce platform partnered with's parent company equalpride, offering a curated and always evolving selection of products sourced from businesses that are owned, operated, or founded by members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community.

In the heart of Palm Springs, where mid-century modern aesthetics meet vibrant pop culture, artist Chris Burbach finds his canvas. His journey from a childhood dreamer in Missouri to a celebrated pop art painter is as colorful as his acrylic on canvas creations.

Chris Burbach's journey into the world of art began in his childhood, where he found solace and inspiration in sketching portraits from the covers of Rolling Stone Magazine. Dreaming of a future in California as a celebrity photographer, Chris's artistic aspirations took root early on. Reflecting on this transformative period, Chris shares, "I try to capture the essence of the person, which goes back to my childhood where I was staring at Annie Leibovitz’s magazine covers and dreaming of moving to Los Angeles to capture celebrities and deconstruct them down to who they really are."

SCHITTS CREEK family framed paintings Chris Burbach artistShop the "Schitt's Creek" collection by Chris Burbach on ThePrideStore.comCourtesy The Pride Store

His unique approach to portraiture transcends traditional boundaries. Rather than mere replication, he aims to distill the essence of his subjects onto canvas. This approach has garnered recognition from the very celebrities he portrays. Recalling a memorable (indirect) encounter with "Schitt’s Creek" star Dan Levy, Chris recounts, "Dan Levy’s agent found my collection of the four Rose family portraits in Palm Springs, and purchased them for Dan while she had him on the phone. It was a true highlight for me as an artist. It is the ultimate validation."

With over 200 celebrity portraits under his belt, Chris's studio is a testament to his boundless creativity. "And in my studio I have a mosaic of every portrait that captivates people when they come in," Chris explains. "When they see that they always stress how I must paint this celebrity they don’t see. They’ll see my Mary Tyler Moore portrait, but want to know where Rhoda is. And so I painted Valerie Harper, and then they asked for Cloris Leachman. I never run out of inspiration!"

artist Chris Burbach shirtless paintingCourtesy Chris Burbach

Each artwork tells a story, capturing the spirit of its subject with vivid strokes and bold colors. Chris affectionately refers to his expansive collection as his "gay rabbit hole," a tribute to the queer icons he immortalizes on canvas. "I’ve gained so many loyal customers who have created their own mosaics," Chris adds. "And here in Palm Springs, we get a ton of travelers from all over the world, so I’ve seen my portraits displayed in homes in countries like France that make me feel really proud."

For Chris, his artistic journey is not only a testament to his passion but also a tribute to his late mother. Despite battling Alzheimer's, she held onto the belief that her son would one day shine in the spotlight. Chris reminisces, "My mom passed away last summer from Alzheimer’s, but one thing she always remembered was that her son was an artist, and every time I visited her she would tell me that she’d see my name in lights one day. And she got to. When she saw the picture I sent her of me next to my bright neon sign, she said she knew it would happen. I’ll always hold the pride she had for me deep within."

taylor swift framed painting Chris Burbach artist Shop "Taylor Swift" by Chris Burbach on ThePrideStore.comCourtesy Chris Burbach

As Chris looks to the future, his artistic vision remains steadfast. Inspired by the LGBTQ+ community and fueled by a desire for representation, he continues to create art that celebrates diversity and inclusivity. "I am inspired by these badass people," Chris shares. "I want to continue creating art that represents our community and honors them with the same level of attention and pride that I give to my celebrities. That’s my mission."

In the vibrant world of Chris Burbach, each stroke of the brush tells a story, each portrait a reflection of the human spirit. Through his art, he invites us to celebrate individuality, embrace diversity, and find beauty in every brushstroke. As his legacy continues to grow, Chris Burbach remains a beacon of creativity, passion, and unwavering pride.

Shop Chris Burbach's art and save 15% with promo code “LOVE” (valid thru 2/29) when you shop

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Nic Austin