Being interested in portraiture, I felt a need to explore varied techniques and ways to express my views. I researched the work of Chuck Close. His work is very expressive, however does not encompass the mood or energy of the subject but rather the sitter is made rather static. His work ranges from photo realism, black and whites to colourful, almost abstract works. His printed scales are often quite large, which I really enjoy. It is hard to reflect on a deeper meaning over the incredible rendering and attention to detail involved in his work, since there is little emotion or personality exuded from the subject in the portrait. However, due to his technique, there is an immense amount of energy exuding from the works. The subject is no longer important but the concept of showmanship is the key showcase.
His work helped encourage earlier painting and sketches of mine, in ways to produce energy, in which the subject is exhibiting. By doing this, my technique would be complimenting the subject and allowing both to be harmonious.
Image showing impact of Scale in Gallery
“Chuck Close is one of the world's leading modern artists. His art focuses on portraits of himself and his family and friends, often produced at a very large scale. Close typically begins with a photograph of a face, creating a painting or print through a complex grid-based reconstruction of the image that he accomplishes by hand through one of many techniques that are unique to Close's work. His paintings are even more impressive, given that Close had to relearn how to use his hands following a 1988 spinal infection that left him a quadriplegic.
Close was born in Monroe, Washington in 1940. He graduated from the University of Washington (BFA, art) in 1962 and from Yale (MFA, art) in 1964. He was the 1997 UW Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus - the highest university honor for one of its graduates. Close's work is included in the collections of numerous museums, including the National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Guggenheim Museum (New York), and the Tate Gallery (London). The New York Museum of Modern Art held a special exhibit of Close's paintings and prints in 1998; the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York held an exhibit on Close's prints in 2004.
We are proud to have three examples of Chuck Close's prints in the Gates Commons of the Allen Center. Emma is a remarkable 113-color Japanese-style woodcut that Close produced in collaboration with Japanese woodcut artist Yasu Shibata. Production of the Emma print took over eighteen months to complete. Also in the Gates commons is an etching of Close's daughter, Georgia, made completely from impressions of Close's fingerprint, and an incredibly detailed linoleum-cut self-portrait.”