Charlie Tjapangati was born in the bush at Palinpalintjanya, north-west of Jupiter Well. He was a young man already initiated when Jeremy Long brought his family into Papunya with one of the last of the Welfare Branch patrols in about 1964. At Papunya he worked for rations on the construction of buildings at the settlement.
Exposed to the nascent Western Desert art movement at West Camp Charlie began painting for Papunya Tula Artists in about 1977. He accompanied Billy Stockman and Andrew Crocker to America for an exhibition of the paintings in the ‘Mr Sandman Bring Me a Dream’ collection, which was the initial purchase of Western Desert art by the Holmes a Court collection. He painted for a few independent dealers from 1998 including Gannon House Gallery and produced some high quality paintings
In 2000, during the Sydney Olympics, he was selected to come to Sydney to create a ground painting for the opening of the Papunya Tula Genesis and Genius exhibition. Stories from the Tingari cycle are the usual subject of his paintings.