Since the late 1960s Chuck Close has been concentrating on portraiture and the human face in painting and photography and is one of the most celebrated artists working today. Close often takes his family and friends as models, making monumental and classical works that are both bold in their simplicity as well as intangible, since the images appear as if they have been viewed through a thick layer of glass or are rippling on the surface of water. In this way, the subjects of his paintings can seem like apparitions, dissolving and resolving when viewed from different distances. Although Close has employed various painterly styles throughout his career, including an intense neo-realism in the 1970s and a shadowy pointillisme in the 1980s, he is perhaps best known for his more recent works which are made up from a shimmering, fragile grid set on the diagonal. Close’s paintings are all-over images where the background of the picture - the negative space - is as important as the face itself and one cannot exist without the other. Likewise, in Close's daguerreotype photographs, the background defines the limit of the image plane as well as the outline of the subject, with the inky pitch-black setting off the light, reflective quality of the subject's face.
- Featured Artist:
- Chuck Close