Too Close for Comfort

Doc illuminates man of a thousand giant faces

If you are a friend or family member of Chuck Close, God help you. You've most likely had your portrait blown up to a monumental size (we're talking 8x10 feet) to really show your asymmetry. Close became famous in the 1970s for the Godzilla-size photo-realist portraits he called "heads," an attempt to focus on process rather than character. With so much freakin' face, however, it's impossible not to attribute personality to his works. Here's how he did it: He took a photo, drew a grid over it, then drew a giant grid on a giant piece of paper and gave himself a giant headache filling each square. In the late ’80s, he suffered a rare spinal artery collapse, but has kept at his painstaking art in spite of the resulting paralysis. Put that all together and you've got one helluva life story. Watch it unfold at Contemporary Forum’s screening of Marion Cajori’s documentary Chuck Close: A Portrait in Progress.
Wed., July 8, 7 p.m., 2009

 
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