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My name is Charlie Biondi, and I am an owner of Imaginary Friends. I always wanted to do something creative with my life. As a kid, all of the people that really inspired me were all living their lives through their creative practice, whatever that was. But I was told early on that that wasn’t really an option for me. I wasn’t gifted like any of the people I admired. After following a traditional path through highschool and college, all of a sudden, I found myself extremely dissatisfied. Lost and looking desperately for direction, I turned my focus back to my art and looked to the writers I loved for answers. After stumbling around in the dark, reading a lot and making some bad art for a few years, I finally came under the direction of some great professors at Dartmouth (Enrico Riley, Tom Ferrara and Jennifer Caine). Introducing me to the breadth of what could be done with painting, I fell in love. Seeing the work of painters like De Kooning and De Chirico, in the words of Phillip Guston, “I felt as if I came home”.  My work started to make sense to me and I went all in. At the same time I was reading philosophers that were critiquing the broader societal structures like those of the Frankfurt School and Antonio Gramsci, who focused on the role of culture in political change. I knew I needed to find a way to work my politics into my painting. This was the subject of many conversations that Mark (M-19) and I had over those years. The answer came in the form of Imaginary Friends, a group that Mark was forming. With the creation of this group as a cooperative, there was no longer the need to have explicitly “social realist” work like that of Rivera and Orozco. The sheer act of making work under a democratic organization, which was built around trust and a common mission, not mere self interest, was a radical act in itself! And that’s what it is: an act. It is a demonstration of the potential for alternative ways of organizing and being in the world. Just like my painting, it hopes to push the boundaries of the imagination and resists the narratives we tell ourselves about how life should be. 

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Written Works


Reach out to me for cover work, mural work or inquiries to buy!

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