Charly “Carlos” Palmer was born in Alabama and raised in Milwaukee. He is an award-winning artist who has made a career not only in Graphic Design and Illustration, but in creating timeless and fascinating fine art works which continue to be added to the collections of thousands of art enthusiasts all across the country.
Charly’s earliest artistic influences began at the age of 5 being fascinated by illustrations in ‘The Snowy Day’ by Ezra Jack Keats. “I could never get enough of the imagery in the book. This planted a seed in my young heart. Keats’ works were fascinating and magical to me,” says Palmer. What appealed to his artistic sense were the random geometric shapes, the simplicity of the layered textures and patterns, along with the mix of bold colors. As a young man, Charly studied the works of Viennese painter Gustav Klimt, who influenced his growing fondness of flat surfaces, mosaic colors and simplistic forms, which are highly symbolic in Klimt’s paintings.
Charly gives credence to those who taught and mentored him. Bill Parks taught him while at the American Academy of Art. His mentors include the late Carl Owens, who was the master of many different mediums, and Paul Goodnight, who used colors and textures in ever evolving styles. Charly is fond of the style of Joseph Holston, which helped him evolve into understanding simplicity of human form and the sensitive color palette. “Holston’s simplified statements were more important than technique,” Palmer says. Further influences are Jean Michele Basquiat, “a true artist whose rawness in technique inspired me, who I recognized didn’t let medium or anything get in his way. I would like to mimic Basquiat in that way. To this day he continues to be a pioneer in influencing lots of artists,” says Palmer.
There is no question that Charly‘s passion is painting and his biggest challenge is to be the BEST artist he can be. His alter ego emerged several years ago after a trip to Cancun, Mexico. He began creating and signing works as “Carlos” as a way to understand his artistic voice and freely express himself. This journey helped him to truly find ‘self’. “Carlos” IS Charly: one who is carefree, relaxed, excited, spontaneous, passionate…. After many successful years, “Carlos” has been put to rest and all works now signed C. Palmer. Both Charly Palmer and Carlos’ expressionisms can be seen in galleries across the country. Art enthusiasts who own a “Carlos” creation have a piece from what will be known in the future as the Charly Palmer “Carlos” period.
Charly, is a new historian expressing his love and undying interest in history. He uniquely chronicles that part of American history which is so often been overlooked. His artworks are social, political and often focus on African American historical subjects. These start at the Middle passage through slavery, the Jim Crow era, and extend to civil rights, the Negro Sports League and the music era. His historical focus is not limited to the African American experience, but includes Native Americans and the Jewish Holocaust.
Winning the ‘Gallery of Greats’ contest with Miller Brewing Company in 1990, being commissioned to create the 1996 Atlanta Olympic poster, and the 1998 Winter Olympics in Japan, and having a piece featured on the television show “In Living Color“ are only a few of his accomplishments.
Charly Palmer also known as is a champion among artists in passion, talent, and accomplishments in his career, and is still going strong after over 25 years in his career. He found the ’Carlos’ in Him, now he is finding the ’Christ’ in Him. A new spiritual focus and love in his life brings it all together to make him complete.