Charlotte Ghiorse (b. 1965) grew up in the first wave of punk rock on the country sidewalks of Ithaca, New York and in Orleans, France. She had her first job at age 10 as a photo printer while living in Germany. After bottoming out on speed as a homeless teen, she put herself through fine art college. One week after graduation (1992) she sold a collection of work to investment banker, Ron Rodriguez (eerily, working on the 90th floor in trade tower 1). Lady luck kept her spirits up, and she moved to China town, NYC selling her work on West Broadway in the early 90s, when it was still illegal. (She never got caught.) Burnt out, with no money she became a go-go dancer for a year...not wanting to feel the pressure of art sales on her quill, and wanting to feel rich.
Committed to the creation of post-modernist cartoonist works, she exclusively painted buildings and living rooms expressing the underbelly of her own homeless feelings. In 1996 she became involved with the FDNY, photographing firefighters on the job, and finding a real passion for painting burning buildings. She participated in the first ever Art of Fire exhibit at the Soho fire Museum. The fire dept became her muse. Some of her most recent work is a series of haunting portraits of the events of 9/11 in NYC, focusing on the debris and the structural devastation of the WTC towers. One of those paintings became part of the permanent collection of Lisa De Kooning in 2003. Oddly a close friend, Ff.Lt Mickey Kross survived the collapse in (stairwell B). Some of these have been donated to the State Museum of NY.
With the birth of her first son she became interested in cartoon moms and believe it or not: flowers! This series brought her back to her early training in Abstract Expressionism, and the constant argument between line and form, painting paint, and giving a voice to color theory.
More recently, as she short on time, being a mother of 3, she has moved into a series of fast and cheap paintings - Plutonian Scapes. These she can play out with minimum color, and on plywood, found on the street, they are a cathartic series, simply keeping her in touch with the creative process. The emotional thrust is exaggerated and raw, and gives the drama of the mundane tasks of mothering a sense of humor. Indeed becoming a mother made her more creative than anticipated!
She has shown every year since 1991. Her many other odd jobs include: astrologer, clairvoyant, clutter consulting, color theory specialist, and her most recent favorite is being a mom. But, isn't painting your favorite? You might ask? "I have been painting since I was 3," she says, "it just helps me to relax." Ghiorse lives in NYC & Ithaca with her two sons and daughter.