Chuck Close: BOB, 1970, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Canvass
* Suffered severe dyslexia and had a neuromuscular condition that prevented him from playing sport and found solace in his art * Known for his work blurring the line between photo and painting * Suffers from prosopagnosia, (face blindness) a condition which means Close cannot recognize people by their facial features in three-dimensional form. Present him with a two-dimensional portrait, photograph or painting, though, and the problem goes away. * This is why he starts every portrait with a photograph. * Bob 1970 is one of a series of eight large black and white portraits that Close painted between November 1967 and April 1970. He began work on Bob in the last months of 1969 and finished at the beginning of 1970.1 Bob immediately preceded Keith 1970 (collection of the artist),2 the last of the black and white series. Close then began using colour in his paintings.
* Bob is painted from gridded photographs onto a gessoed ground using black paint applied with an airbrush to build up the dark tones. White paint is used occasionally for the highlights but more often the black pigment is scraped back using a razorblade or an electric eraser. The subject of the painting is one of Close's friends, Robert Israel, a New York based opera designer. Israel later recalled: I had wanted Chuck to ask me to pose for him, but I really didn't feel it was proper for me to ask. Chuck's decision of who he would paint had to do not only with whether you were a friend, but with the topology of your face. And I didn't really think it was my business to ask him if I could pose. * He discourages any kind of forced expression and just tries to capture the sitter in their most exposed unflattering state. * Contrast is very important and well utilized in BOB.
* The focal point is around the eyes and highlight on the glasses. * It doesn't upset artists to find out that artists used lenses or...
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