Chuck Close (b. 1940, Monroe, Washington). Lives and works in New York.Read More
A major figure of the 20th and 21st-century painting, Chuck Close is an American artist known for his monumental portraits which are rendered with exquisite realism taken from photographic sources. His large-scale pieces are some of the greatest examples photorealism has to offer from its artistic arsenal. Playing with ideas of scale, colour and form, Close has become additionally famous for his fabulous compositions which, although abstract up close, form unified and highly lifelike images when looked from afar. Besides this Impressionism-like practice, Chuck is also active in the field of photography.
Almost all of Close's work is based on the use of a grid as an underlying basis for the representation of an image. This simple but surprisingly versatile structure provides the means for 'a creative process that could be interrupted repeatedly without...damaging the final product, in which the segmented structure was never intended to be disguised.' It is important to note that none of Close's images are created digitally or photo-mechanically. While it is tempting to read his gridded details as digital integers, all his work is made the old-fashioned way–by hand.
For more than six decades, Close has captured his friends and family in portraits that are as abstract as they are realistic, executed in a diverse range of media and techniques. The vehicles for Close's mark-making range from oil paint, airbrush, and finger printing, to paper pulp, coloured pencil, and photography—including the Daguerreotype, which, like the artist's jacquard tapestries, revived a centuries-old-tradition, propelling an antiquated technique into the modern era.
Text courtesy Gary Tatintsian Gallery.
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A couple of weeks ago, I went to visit Chuck Close at his beach house on Long Island. The drive there always reminds me of an escape to the Hamptons in reverse. From the aristocratic brownstones of Park Slope, you work your way steadily down the socioeconomic ladder, past the towering Soviet-style apartment complexes of Coney Island, through...
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