Archive for March 7, 2012

Awesome Acrylic Artist series……..Chuck Close…

Interview done with the Museum of Modern Art with the artist and Carroll Dunham talk about painting.

Part 2



Artist and others talking about the process of painting and viewing one of his portraits.


Chuck Close gives advice to artists when they are struggling.

Mediums: Acrylics, Oils, woodcuts, photography, pulp, fingerprint, etching, tapestry,

this artist is known for his large paintings of people. He uses a grid system to work on his paintings.

The artist was born in 1940 and his father passed away when he was only eleven years old. He gained a large following after producing portraits done in acrylics with the airbrush. Notice the detail on the eye in the gallery. This was near the beginning of photorealism and he was a pioneer. Eventually he has produced portraits in woodcuts, linocuts, and even using handmade paper or paper pulp.  He also had taken many photographs of internationally known celebrities.

The artist attended University of Washington in Seattle attaining his B.F.A. in 1962.  For his M.F.A. the artist attended Yale. Like Charles Gruppe this artist was also a Fulbright scholarship winner.

Exhibited at the Whitney Museum biennial and the New York Museum of Modern Art.

And now his health which is most interesting. The artist has a disease called prosopagnosia, this makes it difficult for him to recognize people. He enjoys painting people and faces as this improves his ability to recognize their face. This disease is termed as face blindness. Pearl Harbor Day, December 1988, the artist was giving a speech to local artists in New York and had a seizure which led to being paralyzed from the neck down. It took many hours of rehab but he was eventually able to take a few steps on his own, but spends most of his time in the wheel chair. He also had to learn to paint again, this time in a looser style.

I enjoy the artist for his unique approach to the human face and the fact he always learning new mediums to express himself. He also a great model for anyone that has to overcome extreme difficulty and in the process becomes the best they can be. I have never seen one of his large paintings in person and can’t wait to see how the face and abstraction blur and come together from distances ranging from 10 to 50 feet. The creativity of this artist is outstanding and I can’t help but think he has a huge stash of floral scenes hidden in his studio that the world has never seen. A master artist and businessman.

His style has changed over the years but still has the same process beginning with a grid and then working on each individual square.

Winner of National Medal of Arts in 2000.

The artist is a nightly viewer of the Colbert Report.

Involved with other artists including Laddie John Hill in a lawsuit due to a law that stipulates In California that artists or their estates are to receive 5% of sales of artwork. This is a law dealing with royalties that according to law should be passed on to the artist. The lawsuit was brought against Christie’s and Sotheby’s.

The black and white photograph mosaic of the artist sold for nearly $300,000 in 2009 saving Polaroid from filing bankruptcy.

Low price range: $1,500 for a rubber stamp print, celebrity photo prints 5,000 to 10,000.

High price range: $5,000,000 for an original in oils or acrylics

The artist is available at many auctions and prints thru a variety of galleries. Also has books out at your local library!

Be inspired by this artist to overcome whatever life throws at you to accomplish your goals and dreams!

Happy painting!