Chuck Close

Whenever there is a discussion of important American artists, the name "Chuck Close" is always mentioned. Without a doubt, he is my favorite living artist. I find both his work and his life story inspirational.

Chuck's art is incredible. He has remained true to his artistic vision for over three decades, producing huge portraits, while the "art world" was more interested in movements such as pop art and abstraction. What Chuck is best known for are paintings I think of as gigantic canvases of color sensations - quilt-like blocks of shapes that, when viewed from a distance, fall into the patterns of a recognizable face.

More incredible is Chuck's life story. He paints portraits, when he himself has a disability that makes it difficult for him to recognize faces, even the faces of loved ones and long term friends. And, he paints these gigantic paintings from a wheelchair, since rendered almost totally paralyzed from the neck down after a spinal artery collapse in 1988.

On days that I do not feel well or not in the mood to paint, I think of Chuck Close - and hurry to my easel. 

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