Chuck Close, Self-Portrait Screenprint 2012, 2012. Courtesy of Hamilton-Selway Fine Art.

Chuck Close: Self-Portraits

Renowned for his photorealistic portraits, Chuck Close has been depicting his own likeness since the late 1960s, and he has completed more than 80 during the last 50 years. Beginning with a photograph of himself, Close divides the portrait into a grid and then transfers, cell by cell, the image onto a larger matrix. The first work completed with this technique was Big Self-Portrait (1968), a massive black-and-white depiction of the artist with a cigarette hanging from his lips. Studies for his paintings and prints have become celebrated works on their own, showing both the artist’s working process and the virtuosity of his skill when compared with the final product. Close works in a variety of styles and mediums, often taking advantage of the grid, giving his self-portraits the appearance of pixelation, or even abstraction. In 2007, a toned-down abstract self-portrait of Close fetched $2.4 million at Christie’s, breaking the auction record for the series.

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