Photography

Close, Chuck (1940)

Chuck Close has suffered from a rare neurological disorder called prosopagnosia or ‘face blindness’ from childhood, which means he cannot recognize people by their facial features in three dimensional form but only with the help of a two-dimensional portrait. The American photographer began his career in fashion photography teaming up with his wife Peggy Moffitt and designer, Rudi Gernreich. Rapidly, he turned to large-scaled portraits of his family and friends mingling various techniques such as drawing, collage, painting, Polaroids, aerography and printmaking. He begins every portrait by photographing his subject: ‘I’m sure I was driven to paint portraits to commit images to memory, because once I flatten them out and scan them I remember them much better’ and creates bold images that look like apparitions. But these apparitions are nothing sentimental, they are raw, almost brutal as Chuck Close refuses to flatter people: ‘I like wrinkles and crow’s feet and flaws, and somebody should know if I’m going to photograph them, that’s going to show up, you know?’ Despite an era of photoshopped imperfections and the tyranny of appearances, he has convinced numerous women to cast aside their public image anxieties, from a bruised Diane von Furstenberg to a puffy Kate Moss and surely what could be seen as Cindy Sherman’s most authentic portrait.

Chuck Close, Lorna Simpson, 2002
Chuck Close, Lorna Simpson, 2002
Chuck Close, Self-portrait, 2005
Chuck Close, Self-portrait, 2005
Chuck Close, Renee Cox, 2012
Chuck Close, Renee Cox, 2012
Chuck Close, Janet Fish, 1996
Chuck Close, Janet Fish, 1996
Chuck Close, Roy I, 1996
Chuck Close, Roy I, 1996
Chuck Close, Alex Katz, 1996
Chuck Close, Alex Katz, 1996
Chuck Close, Untitled (Large-Kate diptych), 2008
Chuck Close, Untitled (Large-Kate diptych), 2008
Chuck Close, Dalai Lama, 2005
Chuck Close, Dalai Lama, 2005
Chuck Close, Untitled, 2013
Chuck Close, Untitled, 2013
Chuck Close, Cecily (Brown), 2001
Chuck Close, Cecily (Brown), 2001
Chuck Close, Kara, 2008
Chuck Close, Kara, 2008
Chuck Close, Self-Portrait, Five Part, State I, 2009
Chuck Close, Self-Portrait, Five Part, State I, 2009
Chuck Close, Bill Clinton - Triptych, 2009
Chuck Close, Bill Clinton - Triptych, 2009
Chuck Close, Obama, 2013
Chuck Close, Obama, 2013
Chuck Close, James, 2013
Chuck Close, James, 2013
Chuck Close, Willem Dafoe, 1997
Chuck Close, Willem Dafoe, 1997
Chuck Close, Hydrangea, 2007
Chuck Close, Hydrangea, 2007
Chuck Close, Sunflower, 2007
Chuck Close, Sunflower, 2007
Chuck Close, Untitled, Kate (#14), 2005
Chuck Close, Untitled, Kate (#14), 2005
Chuck Close, Self-Portrait, 2004
Chuck Close, Self-Portrait, 2004
Chuck Close, Untitled (Brad #2), 2009
Chuck Close, Untitled (Brad #2), 2009
Chuck Close, Self-Portrait (Yellow Raincoat), 2013
Chuck Close, Self-Portrait (Yellow Raincoat), 2013
Chuck Close, Sienna, 2012
Chuck Close, Sienna, 2012
Chuck Close, Lucas, 2011
Chuck Close, Lucas, 2011
Chuck Close, Cindy, 2006
Chuck Close, Cindy, 2006
Chuck Close, James, 2001
Chuck Close, James, 2001
Chuck Close, Robert, 1997
Chuck Close, Robert, 1997
Chuck Close, James, 2013
Chuck Close, James, 2013
Chuck Close, Obama 2, 2012
Chuck Close, Obama 2, 2012
Chuck Close, Jasper, 1997
Chuck Close, Jasper, 1997
Chuck Close, Kiki (Smith), 2000
Chuck Close, Kiki (Smith), 2000
Chuck Close, Untitled Torso (KWII), 2000
Chuck Close, Untitled Torso (KWII), 2000
Chuck Close, Untitled (Kate  #15), 2011
Chuck Close, Untitled (Kate #15), 2011
Chuck Close, Philip Glass, State II, 2006
Chuck Close, Philip Glass, State II, 2006
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