“A Conversation with Robert Storr and Chuck Close”
The dialogue started with the two men sipping large glasses of Scotch in paper cups. Close is face blind, and cannot recognize faces that are in three dimensions. He can see faces which are flat like a photograph and then he commits that image to memory. It is very ironic that with this disability he is still one of the most important portrait painters of this century.
Close is overwhelmed by the “whole” and breaks projects down to pixels (pieces). After 40 years of therapy, he felt there was nothing more to learn. Then he told the audience of a breakthrough. His psychiatrist asked him about his grandmother. He lived with his grandmother and she was an agoraphobic nervous wreck and didn’t leave the house. She crocheted little star and flower squares and then sewed them together. Her life work was an example of doing an activity and breaking it down into pieces and then creating something large from the little squares.
It was a gift to see Chuck Close’s show at the Museum at Guild Hall and then hear the artist speak about his work and the process of creating portraits. The exhibition, “Chuck Close: Recent Works” runs until October 14th.
UPDATE: Watch the Guild Hall's video of the conversation at right.
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