Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday Art - Close

I love portraits.  I love that a portrait can tell so much about someone's essence.  It's just wild to me that one's most complex emotions can be relayed onto a canvas through a well done portrait.  In my humble opinion, no one does it like Chuck Close.  The first time I saw his work was during college (Pitt) at a modern art exhibition held at Carnegie Museum of Art. If you've ever seen his work up close, you'll see that most of his portraits are painted in a grid style, made up of small blocks, within which are cell like patterns in contrasting colors, that some how, when put together, result in an almost photo like portraits.  The subjects are Chuck's friends, family members, politicians, and celebrities.  The irony in all of this is that Chuck suffers from a condition known as 'Proscopagnosia', and cannot recognize faces.  Only 2.5% of population suffers from this condition. Chuck also suffered a stroke in 1988 that left him paralyzed from neck down.  Through rehabilitation and I can only imagine much self-motivation and perseverance, Chuck still paints with a brush taped to his wrist, while sitting in a wheelchair, and with the help of an assistant.   He's my art hero.  Here are some of his beyond fascinating works. 

'Emma' 2002 

 Self Portrait 2000

'Lucas' 1987-1988

'Leslie' 1985 

Kate, 2007 (daguerreotype)

Chuck front of 'Philip Glass, State II' 2006 
(Philip Glass did a short musical tribute to Chuck)

For the lighter side of Chuck, check out this really funny clip of an interview aired on The Colbert Report. He's not only an amazing artist, but rather funny as well.  Did I already say his my art hero?!  

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