Chuck Close – Modern Contemporary Painter and Photographer
Chuck Close is a modern contemporary painter and photographer whose portraits speak through his ability to incorporate “photorealism” or “super realism” in a time of Abstract Expressionism in the 1970s. This meant he specialized close-up portraits and self-portraits. He was born in Monroe Washington, in 1940. Chuck Close represents a truly unique perspective to the metamorphosis an artist makes from what his work began as, into what it is today. In a form of digression, His art focuses on portraits of himself and his family and friends, often produced at a very large scale. Close typically begins with a photograph of a face, creating a painting or print through a complex grid-based reconstruction of the image that he accomplishes by hand. His paintings are even more impressive, given that Close had to relearn how to use his hands following a 1988 spinal infection that left him a quadriplegic.
As a child he was very big and clumsy and not into playing sports. On top of this he was also dyslexic, so everyone considered him dumb and lazy. To add to his difficulties his father, a sheet metal worker, plumber, and on-the-side inventor, was always very ill and would move the family around in order so he could have a job with health benefits. Close always showed an interest in art and drawing, and at the age of four made the decision he wanted to be an artist. His father made him an easel for his birthday and got him a set of oil paints from Sears. Close also began doing magic and puppet shows in an effort to have the other kids accept him. However at the age of eleven Close life took a turn for the worst. His father died, his mother a trained pianist, was diagnosed with breast cancer, they lost their home because of medical bills, his grandmother was diagnosed with Parkinsons disease, and Chuck spent most of the year in bed with nephritis which is a type of kidney infection. However these events did not stop him. He would go