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Chuck Close – Art that Inspires – 02

Chuck close is on my top 5 list of inspirational artists. I love his giant photo-realist portraits, as well as his deconstructive technique, and the way that you can see  the progression of his styles through the years.

chuck close portraits and artist at work

"Big Self-Portrait', [the middle image above] a massive 9ft high painting of a head around fifty times life-size, characterizes Chuck Close's early work. It is painted 'with about half a teaspoon of black paint' which is thinned down to the consistency of dirty water and applied with brushes and an airbrush. The mesmerizing details are created by scraping with razor blades to depict the sharper areas of definition and rubbing with an eraser attached to an electric drill for the softer blends of tone."

Nine feet high!

I was fortunate to be able to see some of his giant portraits at the MoMA in New York City years ago. Of course, it was indescribably amazing.

I see his work as a form of pointilism, although it’s not dots. (Maybe there is a name for it). I used the same technique with layered rods of glass when I made beads, and later when I made glass micro-mosaics and murrini.

I love the process of letting the brain puzzle out images made up of colors laid next to each other, which I guess is what most of painting is about, right?

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