Chuck Close

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Chuck Close
When one first enters the gallery that contains Chuck Close's artwork he or she will find him or herself confronted with enormous portraits of subjects that stare straight at them. From afar some of these pieces even look like they may be enlarged photographs, but at a closer inspection one may see the time-consuming method that the artist used. One of the most distinctly unique characteristics about this artist's work is his use of mixed media throughout all of his pieces. Each painting shows the artist's range of invention in etching, lithography, handmade paper, charcoal, pencil, and silkscreen only to name a few. Thus they portray a different feeling or attitude because of the creative thought process and time that went into each of them. From visiting this gallery it has become evident that Chuck Close is an artist who pushes the boundaries of traditional printmaking. Almost all of Close's work is based on the use of a grid as a basic foundation for the production of an image. This structure surprisingly works for each piece while still allowing each work to vary from the next. And though the appearance of some of the works may seem deceiving, none of Close's images are created digitally or by computer. He makes each piece by hand and uses a grid to help him reach the final look he is trying to achieve. Close's paintings are just as labor intensive and time consuming as they in fact appear. While a painting can occupy Close for many months, it is not unusual for one print to take upward of two years to complete. Close is known to simply say that the creative process is just as important to as the finished product. One of the most noticeable paintings that caught my attention in the gallery was Close's famous woodcut called Emma. The small squares of brightly colored loops, dots, and lozenges give a sense of movement to the painting. It is almost like looking at a real image through a glass of water. Every part of the painting seems to move and...
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