About the Artist | Born in Colorado, the son of a mechanical engineer, Lin Esser’s early education as an illustrator began while watching and emulating his father draft the intricate drawings and cross sections of elaborate multi-cogged machinery. Though young, Esser’s own drafting skills quickly surpassed all expectations. Artists such as Pieter Bruegel, Albrecht Durer, Max Ernst, Salvador Dali, Francis Bacon, along with underground west coast cartoon artists such as Hank Hilton, Big Daddy Roth, and Robert Crumb all shaped his formative impressions. Along with a fascination for the desolate landscapes of his native southwestern United States, These distinct influences eventually all found their way into Esser’s later work.
As a teenager he declined a formal art education to follow work as a skilled double bass player and multi-instrumentalist. It was during the ‘down time’ with young touring bands and regional theater productions that he refined his capability for polished pen work and cultivated a singular fascination for the gothic.
In the mid-eighties Esser continued his pursuit of dual careers by relocating to New York City, where by the personal invitation of actor Paul Newman, Artistic Director of the prestigious Actors Studio, he was offered and accepted the unofficial post of Director of Sound and Music. Esser has held the position of Contributing Feature Illustrator and Cartoonist with Modern Drummer Magazine as well as many of their satellite publications. During this time he worked on Broadway as sound technician at the historic Plymouth Theater and later as Director of Sound and Music/Contributing Artist at the Local Project arts collective in Long Island City. There he produced numerous events featuring some of the most creative artists and musicians the city had to offer.
Esser scored and directed the sound design for Johann Carlo’s short film Thrown Voices, under the direction of composer Bruce Odland improvised the violin music on Stacy Steer’s noted animation Phantom Canyon, authored a series of workshops for regional artists and musicians called Local Heroes and recently can be heard and seen as one third of the composition team re-scoring Hans Richter’s 1921 film Rhythmus 21, with sound artists Bruce Odland and Anaya Lockwood.
Most recently it is Esser’s artwork and music that is the focus of ‘Contacting the Living,’ Director and Cinematographer Dave Davidson’s short film, in which eight of Esser’s macabre tableaux are featured. To this day he maintains a studio in an old masters gallery where, finding himself steeped in the works of nineteenth and early twentieth century artists, he enjoys an invaluable historical perspective.