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Chuck Close

Contemporary Artist

When I first saw Chuck’s work in NYC back in the 70s, I thought I was looking at a photograph. When I learned it was a painting I was blown away. His work got me interested in other photo realists like Richard Estes, Audrey Flack and Robert Bechtle. I made some feeble attempts to produce some photo-realist pieces using the techniques but I never approached their level. I found out that Chuck painted these hyper-real portraits in order to help him burn the images of his friends into his memory. You see, Chuck suffers from a condition called prosopagnosia which means face blindness. He can’t recognize people  even though he may have met them many times.


I loved how Chuck evolved his style over the years, still focusing on portraits but breaking them down where they become very abstract pieces up close but reveal the subject the further back you go. Chuck suffered a catastrophic spinal artery collapse in 1988 that left him severely paralyzed but he has continued to paint and produce work that remains sought after by museums and collectors. 


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