Mar 10, 2011

Chuck Close

"The remarkable career of Chuck Close extends beyond his completed works of art. The man is more than just a painter, photographer, and printmaker, Close views himself as a builder who, in his words, builds "painting experiences for the viewer."
Close chooses his subjects from among his family and friends--including artists such as Richard Serra, Cindy Sherman, Alex Katz, Roy Lichtenstein, and Robert Rauschenberg--to create works that range from coolly unemotional likenesses of unidentified individuals to psychologically charged glimpses of well-known members of the contemporary art world.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.The always-innovative Close is unafraid to experiment with both subject and medium: Close's work forces the viewer to pay attention to not only the pieces themselves, but also their very process of creation. Close references the daguerreotypes of nineteenth century portraiture, the tapestries of classical craft, and finally his own photorealistic works. As tropes of process and of representation are referenced and inverted, the resulting images are striking, modern, and beautiful."