Friday, 22 May 2009

Chuck Close

Chuck Thomas Close (born July 5, 1940, Monroe, Washington) is an American painter and photographer who achieved fame as a photorealist, through his massive-scale portraits. Though a catastrophic spinal artery collapse in 1988 left him severely paralyzed, after regaining the ability to use his hands Chuck Close continued to paint and produce work which remains sought after by museums and collectors.

The above image is a portrait of Chuck Close, contrary to many peoples beliefs it is not a black and white photograph but is in fact an acrylic painting on canvas. It is called Big Self Portrait and was created between 1967 and 1968.

Mark (1978 - 1979), Chuck Close. Acrylic on canvas. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York.

A recent interview with Chuck Close at his New York studio can be seen at:


Production of the Emma print took over eighteen months to complete. Also in the Gates commons is an etching of Close's daughter, Georgia, made completely from impressions of Close's fingerprint, and an incredibly detailed linoleum-cut self-portrait (both shown below). Close's prints and printmaking techniques are described in the book Chuck Close: Process and Collaboration.

Chuck Close Self Portrait II & Georgia Fingerprint

The depth and detail of Close's work can be seen in Lucas. Shown below. The image on the right depicts the detailing and style in which the portrait was crated.

Lucas (1986 - 1987), Chuck Close. Oil and pencil on canvas. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York

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