15 Chuck Close Interesting Facts For Creative Art World Fans | Kidadl


15 Chuck Close Interesting Facts For Creative Art World Fans

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Chuck Close was one of the pioneers of the photo-realism movement, where painters used a distinct close grid technique to create a photograph-like painting.

This prominent painter emphasized creating portraits of friends, family, and self. Contrary to the traditional portrait styles, the realistic massive scale portraits of Chuck Close were uncommon at the time when people went head over heels looking at abstract paintings.

The America-hailed contemporary artist Chuck Close was known for his distinctive art style, which slowly took over the world as one of the finest. For Chuck Chose, photo-realism was his forte, which means a painting style resembling photography. Close contributed to an artistic style never seen before, hence sending him under the limelight of being a highly celebrated artist. But his life as a troubled artistic genius led many people to reconsider the hype around this celebrated artist as his name came up in various allegations of misconduct. Chuck also suffered different medical conditions all his life, which ultimately took his life in the year 2021. The contemporary artist may have died, but there are various interesting Chuck Close life facts that people are yet to know.

Before heading ahead to know more about Chuck Close's interesting facts, read through Philip II of Spain facts and John Batman facts for a quick history dose!

Chuck Close: Life History

Chuck Close's personal life history is full of ups and downs following multiple life-changing incidents, as well as instances that skyrocketed his career into what he is known now. Chuck Close's early life was spent in Monroe, Washington. Chuck is not his birth name. Close's original name was Charles Thomas Close, which was changed later for an alias or artistic name called Chuck Close. Chuck had a rough start as Leslie Durward Close, his father, died when Chuck was only 11. He lived with his mother, Mildred Wagner Close, as he later was diagnosed with a neuromuscular condition which made it difficult for him to attend a regular school like other kids.

Without losing hope and determination, Close received his B.A. degree from the University of Washington. Just as he received the degree, he also bagged a coveted scholarship to the Yale Summer School of Music and Arts for a Master's degree from its fine art and architecture school. On a Fullbright Grant in Vienna, Close attended the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. When he returned to the United States, he started working with the University of Massachusetts as the university's art teacher.

Chuck Close is survived by his two daughters, who he had with Leslie Rose. Chuck later also married Artist Sienna Shields; however, this marriage did not last, and soon they were divorced. He chose New York City as his professional base to continue working and living. New York City offered him great insight and opportunities to observe and improve the American art scene with his highly inventive techniques, probably why he is now such a more prominent name in some of the most important New York galleries.

1988 was a year of lasting impact for the artist. He was diagnosed with spinal artery collapse, where he suffered a seizure, and it left his whole body paralyzed from neck down. Continuous physical therapy helped relieve the repercussions, and soon he started painting again, yet he continued using a wheelchair. Chuck's early life was full of struggles, and the determination to win over situations helped him become the finest artist of his time and till now.

Chuck Close: Artwork Style

Chuck Close's artwork style was not something he began his painting career with; it came after years of fascination with art and witnessing uncountable inspirations, which led him to find his voice. Chuck's father was a sheet metal worker, yet following through on his son's fascination with art, he made him an easel and a set of oils at the age of five. Chuck Close took private art lessons only to flourish in the future as a champion in contemporary art. In an interview in The Brooklyn Rail, Chuck revealed witnessing Jackson Pollack's painting and feeling inspired to create something out of the ordinary.

Chuck Close and his unusual artwork style captured hyper-realism or photo-realism. This signature style often focused on the human face, and many Chuck Close paintings are simply self-portraits and people's faces. Yet, there is quite an interesting trivia in why the artist chose such a topic. Close had prosopagnosia (face blindness), making it difficult for him to remember and recognize faces. He believed that the face blindness condition pushed him to create faces on his canvas. Close's iconic paintings are made up of gridded photographs, including grid squares hand-painted intricately.

His artwork came across as assimilation of photography and painting, but the 1988 paralysis event changed Chuck's art form drastically. Instead of creating flawless paintings, the physical restriction led him to create and use low-resolution grid squares. Surprisingly, the painting appeared equally unified yet added a blend of abstract and contemporary. Close's fine arts technique followed a pattern that remained the same before and after the diagnosis. He created grid copies of portraits with clicked gridded photographs and used to copy the same on canvas as a base and then slowly fill it with diverse regions of colors. His later works didn't necessarily contain restricted rectangular grids as he kept running free with his art style.

Chuck Close's 'Lucas I' showcases an intricate portrait using close grid technique

Chuck Close: Famous Artwork

Chuck Close is famous for his massive-scale portraits, displaying the details of a human face, emotions, and various other intricacies. When abstracts were prioritized over any new or modern form of painting, Chuck offered freshness. His first exhibition took place in the University of Massachusetts Art Gallery, where he presented featured paintings, photos inspired by record covers, and photoshoot magazines.

Chuck's career got a big push with his debut at Walker Art Center. The director of this center, Martin Friedman, purchased the first major Close painting named Big Self-Portrait (1967–1968). This offered Chuck Close great exposure. Primarily, Prints was Chuck's forte, but he attempted various other methods and excelled in creating fine pieces out of it. Wall size tapestry portraits inspired by black and white photographs elevated Chuck Close and his presence in the art scene as each portrait was finely created. Whitney Museum, Allen Memorial Art Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Smithsonian American Art Museum are prominently known places where Chuck Close created pieces are sheltered.

Along with his projects, Chuck Close played a significant role in working as a commissioned artist for multiple design spaces and magazines to work on their project. From creating large mosaics for New York's 86th Street Subway Stations to working with Vanity Fair's featured portfolio starring Hollywood's most renowned names and creating their photos, Chuck Close exhibited great versatility. His signature style remained the same, yet diverse projects upheld his legacy as the pieces roamed different places worldwide and now reside in their museum homes. He even initiated a special tapestry series to exhibit his mastery. The series included a few famous faces and various self-portrait pieces he later donated to the museums.

Chuck Close: Known For

A roller coaster life full of contemporary process art, struggles, physical disabilities, and achievements made him one of the most famous personalities among the wide world of creative art lovers. His distinct art style allowed him a space never offered to anyone before, as no one had seen an art form like that before. Besides being a prominent contemporary figure to create hyper-realism, Chuck Close kept changing his style, primarily due to health limitations, but also as it kept allowing him to create fresh, incredible pieces with a completely new style. Charles Thomas Close witnessed Pollock's abstract to cultivate a style of his own, which eventually led him towards many laurels to keep working for artistic richness.

Chuck Close was the recipient of a National Medal from President Clinton in 2000. The year 2010 marked his appointment in President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities by President Barack Obama, but he later resigned from the post. In 2005, trained pianist and composer Phillip Glass wrote him a musical piece.

Chuck Close emerged as a community service figure and donated multiple artworks to York Stem Cell Foundation. He also presented Barack Obama's tapestry, which was sold to raise funds for the Obama Victory Fund.

Contrary to the legendary image, Chuck Close had serious allegations made against his misconduct with multiple women. In an interview later, he said he is apologetic as he could have a 'dirty mouth' at times. In response to the allegations, multiple museums such as Seattle Art Museum took down his artwork. As a result, his image experienced a deep plummet from being a loved artist to an infamous one, yet his artworks still adorn the walls of multiple museums. However, the neurologist treating Chuck Close before his death in 2021 recently said that these behaviors might have been attributed to the frontotemporal dementia that the artist was suffering from.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created many interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 15 chuck close interesting facts for creative art world fans, then why not take a look at why do bats sleep upside down, learn amazing facts about bats, or why do animals like being pet, animal petting explained?

Written By
Moumita Dutta

<p>A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.</p>

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