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Chuck Close Born  July 5 1940  Monroe, Washington, USA He is still living . He lives in New York City with his family.

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  • Born  July 5 1940  Monroe, Washington, USA

  • He is still living. He lives in New York City with his family.

  • “Chuck Close’s prominence and popularity are due mostly to his photographs and the giant portraits he has painted since the 1960s. Based on photographs, the portraits are monumental close-ups of heads (his family and friends) produced under various limitations”.

  • “In a 1997 interview, Close told New York Times reporter, Michael Kimmelman, “My (early) learning disabilities also affected what I did as an artist. I could never remember faces, and I’m sure I was driven toward portraits because of the need to scan, study and commit to memory the faces of people who matter to me. The other thing is that I’ve always been incredibly indecisive and overwhelmed by problems, and I’ve learned that breaking them down helps, which is exactly how I paint a portrait: I break it down into bite-size pieces, into lots of little manageable decisions...”’


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  • PERSONAL HISTORY: “In 1988 a spinal artery in Close's body suddenly collapsed. All the muscles, from his shoulders down, were affected to some degree, forcing him to use a wheelchair. He had to relearn to paint, with brushes strapped to his hands. (He has painted that way ever since.) He viewed this setback as another potentially creative limitation.”


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His Technique… body suddenly collapsed. All the muscles, from his shoulders down, were affected to some degree, forcing him to use a wheelchair. He had to relearn to paint, with brushes strapped to his hands. (

  • Can you guess it?

  • SCALE ENLARGEMENT!!!!

This is NOT Closes’ work… just an

example of the technique.


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MORE INFO… body suddenly collapsed. All the muscles, from his shoulders down, were affected to some degree, forcing him to use a wheelchair. He had to relearn to paint, with brushes strapped to his hands. (

Let’s go to: http://www.getty.edu/art/collections/bio/a9469-1.html


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More works…. body suddenly collapsed. All the muscles, from his shoulders down, were affected to some degree, forcing him to use a wheelchair. He had to relearn to paint, with brushes strapped to his hands. (

This oil painting was done with his FINGERTIPS

in 1985.

The title is Fanny.

This is a PAINTING on canvas.

He did this one in 1969.The title is Frank.


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Chuck Close body suddenly collapsed. All the muscles, from his shoulders down, were affected to some degree, forcing him to use a wheelchair. He had to relearn to paint, with brushes strapped to his hands. (Kiki, 1993

Look at how he painted this one!!

Detail of Kiki

From: http://www.artsconnected.org/artsnetmn/identity/close.html


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More images… body suddenly collapsed. All the muscles, from his shoulders down, were affected to some degree, forcing him to use a wheelchair. He had to relearn to paint, with brushes strapped to his hands. (

Close up of him painting.


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Assignments… body suddenly collapsed. All the muscles, from his shoulders down, were affected to some degree, forcing him to use a wheelchair. He had to relearn to paint, with brushes strapped to his hands. (

  • Color value and Chuck Close

    (Student work examples from Madison Middle School)

  • Related assignments: Scale enlargement drawings and Scale enlargement paintings


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Resources body suddenly collapsed. All the muscles, from his shoulders down, were affected to some degree, forcing him to use a wheelchair. He had to relearn to paint, with brushes strapped to his hands. (

  • http://www.artsconnected.org/artsnetmn/identity/close.html

  • http://www.allposters.com/

  • http://www.davidcobley.co.uk/images/close.jpg

  • http://www.escaner.cl/escaner3/port2.JPG

  • http://www.zombiesheep.com/met2003/DSCN2191.JPG

  • http://mms.d321.k12.id.us/webart/index.html(Madison Middle school website)

  • http://search.famsf.org:8080/view.shtml?record=303229&=list&=1&=&=And

  • http://www.artsmia.org/uia-bin/uia_doc.cgi/list/200?uf=mia_collection.ldb&key=paintings&noframes=x&hr=null&nd=355

  • http://www.nga.gov/cgi-bin/pinfo?Object=68433+0+none

  • http://www.artlex.com/


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Vocabulary body suddenly collapsed. All the muscles, from his shoulders down, were affected to some degree, forcing him to use a wheelchair. He had to relearn to paint, with brushes strapped to his hands. (

  • Photorealism - Realistpaintings and sculptures involving thorough reproduction of detail. In painting the results were nearly photographic-- in fact made from photographs (although painters had been working from photographs since the early days of photography).

  • Scale enlargement technique- technique in which an image is enlarged using a grid or series of grids.

  • Value-An element of art that refers to the lightness or darkness of a color.


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  • Value scale- body suddenly collapsed. All the muscles, from his shoulders down, were affected to some degree, forcing him to use a wheelchair. He had to relearn to paint, with brushes strapped to his hands. ( A series of spaces filled with the tints and shades of one color, starting with white or the lightest tint on one end, and gradually changing into the darkest shade or black on the other

  • Contrast- having a wide range of values or extreme difference in texture, shape, color or form.

  • Highlight- The area on any surface which reflects the most light

  • Visual Impact- when an image makes a strong, immediate impression

  • Most of the above definitions from http://www.artlex.com/


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Understandings and Thoughts..… body suddenly collapsed. All the muscles, from his shoulders down, were affected to some degree, forcing him to use a wheelchair. He had to relearn to paint, with brushes strapped to his hands. (

  • That limitation of any kind should not prevent someone from making art.

  • That artists make art sometimes to make us aware of what our values and concerns are. ( For example: Chuck Close painted his family and friends- don’t we value our friends and family?)

  • Who are some of the heroes in our culture? Who and what do we admire and value in our society?

  • Who are YOUR heroes and why?


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