A boar hunt, a gunshot-riddled Mustang, and a painting of paint lids all represent the artist, Charles Linder.
An artist, collector, and avid hunter with a lifestyle bouncing between easy suburban life and the rural outdoors describes the man.
Who is this unconventional artist? We’re more intrigued than ever about this fascinating man.
Let’s check it out!
The Story of Charles Linder
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and raised in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Charles Linder went west on a motorcycle in the 80s. He stopped in California, ultimately building his art spaces in the San Francisco area.
Linder knew he had to leave Alabama. He didn’t see his destiny there and moved to Los Angeles. The change was an adventure into the unknown and how he sees art today.
Linder went to the San Francisco Bay Area and attended fine arts colleges. He saw the system as a guild in which he had to climb the ranks. Eventually, in 1990, Linder completed his Master of Fine Arts at the University of California, Berkeley.
To break into the art scene, Linder started the avant-garde Refusalon Gallery in his home, a converted garage. It was a vehicle for Charles and his colleagues to form a framework for creating an audience.
Eventually, Linder moved Refusalon out of his home and sold it in 1999. In 2000, he opened Lincart with business partner Holly Fouladi. He invested his time and art by carving out unconventional spaces in San Francisco. Linder continues to showcase area artists and holds his own shows.
Is Charles Linder Still Alive?
Yes, Charles Linder is still alive. There’s never a dull moment when he’s around. He hosts stag parties where he demonstrates how to hunt, gut, and cook a boar. Linder’s work-life balance tips toward rural pursuits.
We’re barbecue fans. We’d love to hang out at this gathering!
What Inspired Linder to Begin Creating Art?
Linder sees himself as the only positive outcome of his parents’ attendance at art school. His mother was a representational painter who taught Charles how to paint.
In an interview with Paul Karlstrom, Linder reflects on one of his first true artistic inspirations at age 15.
“We used to camp out in this old grain silo along the railroad tracks with oval windows all the way up the side. One afternoon we lit a fire and then backed up about 100 yards and took a photo at sunset. It was this internally lit cement silo, a beautiful image—I realized where my work was headed.”
What Style of Art Does Charles Linder Create?
On his website, Charles Linder describes himself, “I am an artist, a painter, and a sculptor.” The artistry highlighted includes drawings, sculptures, paintings, and even a book. This is a mild reflection on a man who engages in lifestyle art through things like taxidermy and cooking.
When it comes to daily inspiration, he says, “Wreckage, decay, abandoned buildings, crashed cars, naked ladies, weeds that grow out of cracks in the concrete,” draw his interest.
Linder’s sculpture is provocative. At first glance, ordinary items seem inconsequential. Upon closer examination, a wristwatch is merely the band, missing the timepiece altogether.
What Is the Bohemian Club?
The Bohemian Club is a private club with two locations: a city clubhouse in the Nob Hill district of San Francisco, California, and the Bohemian Grove, a retreat north of the city in Sonoma County.
Founded in 1872, the group was for journalists who wished to promote a fraternal connection among men who enjoyed the arts. Today, the exclusive club includes esteemed members from all sectors of society, such as presidents, businesspeople, athletes, and artists.
Charles Linder, an entrenched figure in the San Francisco art scene, views himself as a bit of a bohemian. He’s made a habit of sketching on stationery from famous places. You can find pencil drawings on Bohemian Club paper in his website portfolio.
The Bohemian Club is a who’s who of leaders and influential personalities. It seems to us that Charles Linder has been to the Grove. He says he’s not a secret society member, but it seems he aspires to be one.
Tell Me More About Lincart
The Lincart gallery, or Linc for short, is laid back. Linder chose a business model that provides a comfortable environment to view art. It also allows him and the gallery employees a more intimate setting to collaborate with artists on a more personal level.
Linc is a contemporary venue for fine art, design, and lifestyle branding. The gallery usually presents solo exhibits, but at least once a year, it’ll feature a group of new local and international work.
“We make an investment of time and space. Then the artist, we hope or assume, will return the favor in terms of … giving us great work and effort,” said Linder.
What Are Some of Charles Linder’s Art Pieces?
Charles Linder’s lifestyle art draws upon his travels, friendships, and business relations. We’re intrigued by his point of view.
In Linder’s photographs, there’s a clever shot of a cyclist outside, in a white t-shirt with mud splatters up the front. The life experience translates well into his abstract forays of dots on canvas. With this in mind, we can feel the damp, rainy day in the speckled expressions.
From the ordinary to the abstract to the bizarre, Linder’s sculptures use everyday items with an aesthetic quality that makes us stop and think.
The Ghost Stang was a popular obsession for Linder and his fans for years. Linder painted a gunshot 1965 Mustang shell, pate’ white. He then left it in the wild from which it came. Only accessible by GPS coordinates, the collector arrives with conversation, bubbly, and a camera.
This is definitely a trip on our bucket list.
Charles does quite a bit of sketching on odd pieces and scraps of paper. He’s even known to throw up a bit of graffiti too.
His fascination with boars is evident among the sketches in his portfolio. Are these two-dimensional representations of his past conquests? Or was he dreaming of his next hunting trip when he doodled these down?
When we make that bucket list trip to the Ghost Stang, we will look Linder up to ask him.
An Unconventional Artist
Charles Linder told the Los Angeles Press about art, “This is literally the only thing I know how to do…the only thing I am great at. I became an artist because the sun rises and sets.”
The stark reality of Linder’s work reflects his wisdom in translating emotional issues into viscerally resonating pieces.
Unconventional, we love his nonsensical yet thought-provoking work.
What’s your favorite Charles Linder piece? Tell us about it in the comments below.
Outside Folk Gallery
You can explore more folk, street, and outsider art in our personal collection at Outside Folk Art. We’re celebrating these creatives and giving voice to rising black, Native, immigrant, and working mother artisans.
We’ll also be offering pop-up shows and collaborations with small museums, so be sure to follow us to discover the where and when!