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  • 1. Chuck Close by Margo Carlovich

2. Background Close was born in Monroe, Washington in 1940 under the name Charles Thomas Close. His father died when he was eleven; this was said to have had a great influence on his life and art. Much of his early work were Hyper-realistic portraits of his family (who were often artists and identified with this style of art as well). 3. Despite his early adherence to Photorealism and related styles, Close experimented with a variety of styles. He describes going to see Jackson Pollocks work at the Seattle Museum of Art when he was eleven and says he was confused and slightly angry because this was far removed from what he considered to be art. However, before he knew it, Close was producing work in the vein of abstract expressionism. Close attended the University of Washington, Seattle, Yale University, and the Akademie der Bildenden Kunste in Vienna. At Yale, he was known for emulating William De Koonings style, but later his workselected De Kooning paintings 4. De Kooning Chuck Close 5. In Yale he seemed destined to become a third-generation abstract expressionist, although with a dash of Pop iconoclasm. In 1967, he vowed to make art that was hard to make, he wanted to limit himself so that he could push his art to where it never had been before. Close then began using a variety of media to created realistic portraits like he once did in his youth. 6. Chuck Close painted larger than life portraits in a hyper- realistic style. He created several of his friend, composer Philip Glass who he also depicted in different ways to get a mixture of effects (in drawings, with a stamp pad and fingerprints, and on gray paper he made himself). It took Close about a year to make each of them because of his precision with creating this photographic effect. Phil/Fingerprint (1981) 7. Though a master of many media, Close is considered a painter first and foremost. In fact, his airbrush techniques supposedly inspired the development of the ink jet printer. Close found his niche using a grid to paint portraits of his high profile friends and acquaintances. 8. Close used three colors layered on top of one another within the grid. He would paint one square in one color and then in another and another until it achieved the desired effect. Close suffers from prosopagnosia (face blindness) which means hes unable to recognize faces. He says that painting portraits helps him to better recognize faces and that his fixation on portraits may have to do with his disorder. Big Self Portrait (1968) 9. Leslie watercolor (1972-73) 10. Mark acrylic (1978-1979) 11. Fanny/Fingerpaint (1985) 12. Close changed his style slightly He still used the grid but achieved a realistic effect using a mosaic-type method. Viewers would now liken this to that of a pixelated Lucas (1986-87) 13. In 1988, Close was at a benefit honoring local artists in NYC, complaining of excruciating chest pain. He presented an award, gave a speech, and immediately went to the hospital afterwards. He had a seizure leaving him paralyzed from the neck down. Through rehabilitation he gained movement in his arms and could walk for a few steps. He painted with the brush Self Portrait (1997) 14. President Bill Clinton (2006) 15. More recently, Close has created tapestries. Though they have a likeness to black and white photos, some of them are made with many different colored threads. There are around 17,800 threads in each tapestry. 16. Close has also preferred photography in recent years. Some of his photographic subjects include Robert Deniro, Helen Mirren, and an older Philip Glass. In 2010, Close was commissioned for 12 mosaics for a New York City subway station. 17. Polaroids for Vanity Fair, March 2014