San Francisco has been Charles Bierwirth's home since 1978. Born in Flint Michigan , Charles studied Art at the Flint Institute of Arts, and received his BFA in painting at Eastern Michigan University in 1978. He moved to San Francisco to obtain his MFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1980. After a brief stint at teaching art, his interest turned to mural painting. In the past few years, Charles'
energy has been spent primarily on his fine art.
A large part of what I do as an artist involves finding and utilizing materials that are close at hand to
compose a painting. This ad hoc attittude lay behind my finding a large green army surplus tarpaulin back
in 1978 to paint on, resolving the lengthy process of constructing a stretcher bar. I've been painting on them
ever since. Almost immediately, I discovered there was more to these tarps than a way out of sawing wood and
strechting canvas. They were sculptural and theatrical - a perfect arena upon which to compose pictures in paint.
I have executed several series of works on tarpaulin, painting images relative to the tarps' characteristics.
Common in each is the use of found and/or altered
photographs I take and enlarge into paint on the tarp. Because I enjoy mural and trompe l'oeil painting,
this process comes natural to me, and with it, a dry wit sensibility.