Art Heroes: Chuck Close

Chuck Close has made a career out of painting enormous, photorealist heads. He works hard, and has had a very successful career despite a severe injury that has left him partially paralyzed.

It impresses me how he has put giant faces on a grid for decades and it is still fresh. Close uses a grid, filling the squares with painted hot dog shapes, lint, charcoal, or any number of image-making techniques such as spit-bite etching.

Showing Up

What I love most about Chuck Close is his work ethic:

“Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just get to work.” — Chuck Close

Chuck Close. Kate, 2007. jacquard tapestry, 103″ x 79″ (261.6 cm x 200.7 cm).

Chuck Close. Self-Portrait, 1997. oil on canvas, 102 x 84″ (259.1 x 213.4 cm).

Chuck Close. Big Self-Portrait, 1967-1968. acrylic on canvas, 107-1/2″ x 83-1/2″ (273 cm x 212.1 cm).

Chuck Close. President Bill Clinton, 2006. oil on canvas, 108-1/2″ x 84″ (275.6 cm x 213.4 cm).

Image source: Pace Gallery