Fascinated by the complexities of both human form and the human mind. Charles Dwyer finds inspiration for his art around any given corner and in potentially any face. “I’m always looking at people. I could be in a restaurant and say, ‘Boy that person looks interesting. ‘I’ve always loved portraiture it’s just you and the image.”
Born in West Bend, WI, in 1961, Dwyer excelled art at West Bend East High School and received a scholarship from the West Bend Art Museum. At the Milwaukee School of Art and Design, where he majored in Fine Art and graduated Valedictorian.
Directly after college, Dwyer’s work was featured in a one-man exhibition. With money saved from the show, he backpacked with friends through Italy, Austria, Germany and Greece. Dwyer recalls being most impacted in Vienna where the Austrian artists and the moodiness brought on by frequent rain moved him. To this day, the overwhelming beauty of Europe remains an underlying inspiration.
After his European sojourn, Dwyer pursued painting conservation and restoration work in the Wisconsin. “This job was pretty influential in introducing me to all sorts of imagery and media like the spiritual, astrological, and classical.” explains Dwyer. “I did a lot of mural restoration, trompe l’oeil, marbleizing, and mosaic. This was one of the few jobs you could get and really apply your artwork skills to.”
Commissioned to create the official poster for Chicago's ARTEXPO '93, Dwyer has continued to experiment and push the borders of art making, most recently reinterpreting the techniques of printmaking and photography. His spectacular, original works on paper and canvas, which incorporate such diverse techniques as oil paint, pastel, collage, and fabrics, make Dwyer one of the most important living American artists of our time.