“I build a painting by putting little marks together–some look like hot dogs, some like doughnuts.” – Chuck Close
When you think of a portrait painting, I’m sure you think of regal foreigners, posing in their finest furs, with a little baby fat in their cheeks. While this is a large part of portrait painting history, the art has changed quite a bit over the years.
My favorite portrait artist, you ask? Photorealist, Chuck Close.
Here’s the 1-2-3 on Close’s work:
- Close suffers from “prosopagnosia,” or face blindness, which causes difficulty in recognizing and remembering faces. In addition, Close suffers from an spinal artery collapse which paralyzed him from the neck down. He calls this “the Event.”
- My favorite part of Close’s work is that he uses small dots, fingerprints, and circles to create the illusion of a face from afar. He now straps a paint brush to his hand while painting. Here’s a close up of one of his works.
- His art was recently featured atop New York taxis as part of an advertising campaign to “bring art to people in the streets.” His work will be featured on 250 taxis, only showing cropped versions of Lucas (shown above) and “Lorna Simpson.” Big Think.com explains this story.
PBS conducted an amazing interview with Close, here’s the transcript if you’re interested in learning more about him.