19. Food Line

Artist: Charles Christianson

Food Line

Charles Christianson painted Food Line in about 1988, at a time when he was a representational painter interested in social issues.

When he created the painting, an acrylic dispersion on paper, Christianson was experimenting with colors, bringing attention to often overlooked social problems. He donated both Food Line and a second painting, Soup Kitchen, to the college.

As a child, the Fergus Falls native could often be found drawing or making objects out of wood scraps. He sometimes sold these creations to his grandmother for a quarter.

After graduating from high school, he continued his education at what was then Fergus Falls Community College. There, he began studying with Charles Beck, who would become a major influence on his art and, later, a good friend.

He continued his studies with John Stuart Ingle, Lois Hodgel, Fred Peterson and others at the University of Minnesota, Morris, where he earned his BS with a double major in Art History and Studio Art in 1981.

After graduating he set up a painting studio in Fergus Falls and also began working construction, learning how to tape drywall and becoming proficient in the use of taping knives, knock down trowels and darbies. In 1982 he began using these non-traditional tools to create abstract paintings. Around this time, he also began making his own paint from oil, egg tempera, casein, acrylic and glue size.

His art has explored both representational and abstract work. He is very interested in process.

Christianson’s interview with Jess Torgerson, former artistic director at Kaddatz Galleries in Fergus Falls.