Photo Friday: Chuck Close

October 9th, 2008 by Ross

Hey everyone my name is Ross and some of you might know me as the one who is obsessed with Katy Perry. I wont deny that, but what you might not know is that I’m obsessed with photography also. Larry asked me to take some time to talk about photography and photo related subjects here on the blog so here it is.

For this first installment I would like to talk about Chuck Close. Some of you out there that already know about Mr. Close might be saying to your self, “Chuck Close isn’t a photographer!” and this is true, but one of the major points to his work is the use of photography. Close is a photorealistic painter who creates images on a large scale. The subjects of his work, usually friends and family, are first photographed and then a grid is placed on top of the photograph. That grid is then translated onto the canvas. Close’s earlier work was much more detailed because the grid used was smaller. In 1988 his work changed completely after he suffered a catastrophic spinal artery collapse which left him paralyzed from the neck down. After extensive rehab efforts Close was able to move his body from his waist down and continues to create his large scale works but uses a larger scaled grid.

An example of Chuck Close’s early work

An example of Chuck Close’s early work

Here you can see the larger grid used in Close’s later works

The reason I picked Close for my first installment is because I just watched a great documentary on him called Chuck Close: A Portrait in Progress. It gives an in-depth look as to how he works and even shows some footage of him working on paintings before becoming paralyzed. I remember the first time I saw a Chuck Close piece in person. I was at the MET in New York and I saw his painting entitled Mark (shown below). Seriously, one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Not only in terms of the overall size of the image but also in the amazing amount of detail that is placed in every single section of the image. If you’re interested in a better insight of how Close works I would strongly recommend going out and renting his documentary and if you’re interested in seeing one of his works in person you can see one of his self portraits at the High Museum of Art here in Atlanta in their Modern and Contemporary collection.


this image shows the scale and a close-up section of Mark

Category: Photo Friday Comment: 1 Comment »

One Response

  1. mike Says:

    Nice post. I think it should be called Photo Phriday though.

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