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Chuck Close  

7/5/11

In any discussion of important American artists, the name "Chuck Close" is always mentioned. Without a doubt, he is my favorite living artist. I find both his work and his life story inspirational.

Close's art is incredible. He has remained true to his artistic vision for over three decades, producing huge photorealistic portraits, while the "art world" was more interested in movements such as pop art and abstraction. What Close is best known for are paintings I think of as gigantic canvases of color sensations - quilt-like blocks of shapes that, when viewed from a distance, fall into the patterns of a recognizable face.

More incredible is Close's life story. He paints portraits, when he himself has a disability that makes it difficult for him to recognize faces, even the faces of loved ones and long term friends. And, he paints these gigantic paintings from a wheelchair, since rendered almost totally paralyzed from the neck down after a spinal artery collapse in 1988.

On days that I do not feel well or not in the mood to paint, I think of Chuck Close - and hurry to my easel.

 

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