Charlie White (artist)

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Charlie White
Born (1972-07-21) July 21, 1972 (age 43)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Residence Los Angeles, Ca
Alma mater School of Visual Arts (BFA), and Art Center College of Design (MFA)
Occupation Artist
Years active 1996–present

Charlie White (born 1972, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is a Los Angeles-based artist.

White received his BFA in 1994 from the School of Visual Arts, New York, and received his MFA from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California, in 1998. He is a professor at the Roski School of Art and Design, University of Southern California in Los Angeles.


White grew up in Philadelphia. He was educated at Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts. While a student at the School of Visual Arts in New York, he worked as an assistant to artists Laurie Simmons and Carroll Dunham and studied with Marilyn Minter.[1]

White moved to Los Angeles in 1996 to attend the Art Center College of Design, where he studied with artists Stephen Prina, Mike Kelley and Christopher Williams, and received his MFA in 1998. While a student, White created the project Femalien, which was published in CHERI magazine. The magazine was sold at an exhibition at the Andrea Rosen Gallery in November/December of 1996.


White's photographs explore America’s social fictions and collective identities. His earlier bodies of work, In a Matter of Days (1999) and Understanding Joshua (2001), were influenced by the highly staged art direction of photographers such as Jeff Wall.[2] In 2003 White exhibited And Jeopardize the Integrity of the Hull (2003), a series of eleven photographs that look at religion, entertainment, privacy, and pop culture.[3]

In 2006 White exhibited "Everything is American" a series of works looking at collective trauma, national anguish, and the tension between what is created in the image and what it was modeled from. Such influences include the Manson Family murders in 1969 and the 1978 Jonestown massacre.[4]

In 2008 White created a body of work titled, Girl Studies, which consists of a 35mm short film titled American Minor, an experimental animation titled OMG BFF LOL, and a series of new photographs.[5] White created and exhibited the series ‘Teen and Transgender Comparative Studies’ at the 2009 Hammer Biennial curated by Ali Subotnik.[6] The series paired up one male to female transgender adult with a female teenager doppelgänger and photographed them side-by-side to create a neutral comparison of two simultaneous biological transitions. The pair was photographed in front of a blue grid, a common reoccurring element in many of his subsequent works.[7] Continuing his work surrounding themes of American teenagers, White finished a series titled ‘Casting Call’ in 2010. In this body of work, White hosted a casting call for one ‘California Girl’ between the ages of 13 and 16 to appear on a billboard in participation with LAXART. The performance and casting process lasted one day and was open to the public.[8]

In 2011 White was included in the Singapore Biennale where he exhibited the works ‘OMG BFF LOL’ from ‘Girl Studies’ as well as ‘Magazine Covers 2004-2007’.[9] In 2012 White exhibited several works at LACMA including a new animation titled, ‘A life in B Tween’, as well as past works such as ‘Casting Call’, and the works from ‘Girl Studies’. The exhibition was titled, Sun and Other Stars, and included works by Katy Grannan alongside White. 'Music for Sleeping Children' was a collaborative project between White and Bryan Hollon, also in 2012. The result of the collaboration was an album and series of music videos combining music with recorded teen girl monologues.[10]

White's body of work, titled ‘Self Portrait’, was created in 2014 and was his first time photographing staged nudes and still lives. The figures and objects are all positioned in front of a single blue grid.

Charlie White also contributes writings to journals and publications such as Artforum, and Words without Pictures. He is also the editor of Enemy, a triannual online journal that has published essays by CJ Pascoe, poetry by Fred Moten, and works by artists such as Josiah Mcelheny.[11]

Exhibition history[edit]

White's work has been featured within the following venues and exhibitions:

White’s film American Minor was shown at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.


Charlie White is represented by Loock Gallery, Berlin; and Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles. From 1999–2006, White exhibited with Andrea Rosen in New York.


About White’s work:

  • Hysteric Four, 1999, Hysteric Glamour Japan. (limited edition)
  • Charlie White Photographs, 2001, Goliath Books, Germany.
  • And Jeopardize the Integrity of the Hull, 2003, TDM Paris. (limited edition)
  • Charlie White, 2006, DOMUS ARTIUM Spain. Exhibition Catalog, essays by Jan Tumlir.
  • Monsters, 2007, Powerhouse Books. Essay by Sally O'Reilly, with an interview by Benjamin Weismann.
  • American Minor, 2009, JRP-Ringier. Essays by Christoph Doswald and Dorothea Strauss.
  • Such Appetite, 2013, Little Brown Mushroom, Edited by Alec Soth, St. Paul, Minnesota.


  • 2011 MacDowell Fellow
  • 2008 California Community Foundation, Mid-Career Artist’s Grant[12]

Music videos[edit]

Charlie White created a music video for the band Interpol in 2004 for the single "Evil", from the album Antics.[13] He also directed the lead single for the band's 2010 self-titled release, "Lights".

Charlie White took part in the 2006 Adicolor web campaign, which invited young directors to make a short web film based on a color. White selected the color pink,[14] and worked with musician Greg Weeks.


External links[edit]