Image Image Image Image Image

* = required field

BOM: get the Best of Mosaic Art NOW

Keep up with what’s happening in the world of  contemporary mosaics on your own time by subscribing to The BOM.

The BOM is a weekly digest showcasing three MAN articles and the top five tweets of the week. Sign up below and  The BOM will show up in your email inbox every Sunday at noon Pacific Standard Time.

We hate spam, too, so we won’t share your information with anyone else and guarantee that The BOM will be the only time you’ll hear from us – unless, of course, something really great comes up.

Mosaic Art NOW Tweets

MOSAIC ART NOW TWEETS

Scroll to Top

To Top

06

Jul
2010

This Article appears in:

Artists
Et cetera

Read the comments:

8 Comments

Prosopagnosia: Portraitist Chuck Close

On 06, Jul 2010 | 8 Comments | In Artists, Et cetera | By man-admin

Self Portrait 2004-2005 102 x 86 inches Oil on canvas

He’s been called the “reigning portraitist of the Information Age.” He creates jumbo-size faces on canvas (8 or 9 feet high), copying them from photographs. They are painted in a dotted faux pointillist style. In 1989 Close suffered a stroke, which left him paralyzed from the neck down. Gaining partial use of his hand with a brace, he learned to paint all over again. — Introduction to an interview with Close by Terry Gross on NPR’s “Fresh Air” March 5, 2004

Prosopagnosia: Sometimes known as “face blindness”, prosopagnosia is a disorder where the ability to recognize faces is impaired. Renowned portrait artist Chuck Close has it. In the PBS News Hour interview below, Close reveals that he feels he has been compelled to do portraits as a way to help him remember the important people in his life.
Close first became famous as a photorealist. The detail put into each work is phenomenal. Even when seen in person, it is almost impossible to distinguish one of his paintings from a photograph — a decidedly eerie experience we can attest to.
John 1971 Acrylic on gessoed canvas 100 x 90 inches
In 1988, Close suffered a spinal artery collapse that left him a quadriplegic. Eight months later, he was painting again using a brush held between his teeth. With this new work, Close left realism for a pixelated take on photographic portraiture.
In the PBS interview, Close also discusses how these portraits are the result of taking individual pieces of “information” to make a whole — a rather good definition of mosaics, no?  Thinking of his work in mosaic terms is almost automatic.  There is the “tesselation” of same-sized segments and he does create the texture and reflectivity found in mosaic materials in those exquisite details of circles and lozenge shapes.  It’s as if Close creates a visual code of dots and dashes in sequences that our eye effortlessly translates into the people he loves.  And one can feel the love.
The work itself requires an almost superhuman level of effort.  Close now paints with a brush strapped to his hand,
but he works in other mediums as well including fabric.
Lucas/Rug 1993 Silk and linen

Close has also done portraits as etchings, woodcuts and even “fingerprints”

Georgia Fingerprint/etching

Chuck Close is also an enormously generous artist, sharing his techniques and approaches freely. We highly recommend the website: Chuck Close Process and Collaboration.
And now for that video . . .

Enjoy — Nancie

Share this article

Comments

  1. Jinet

    What an inspiring man. Funny you should post info on Chuck Close. I recently listened to a podcast made by the MOMA and it's great to get more info on him. Thanks.

  2. Nancie Mills Pipgras

    Maureen I am so envious. What an incredible opportunity. I haven't seen any of his pixelated work in person and imagine that they would have to pull me away at closing time. I do hope the Corcoran puts that video online eventually.

  3. Maureen

    I saw the interview before this posting and enjoyed it a lot.

    The exhibition at the Corcoran, "Chuck Close: Process and Collaboration", is excellent. I went on a members' night and got to spend a lot of time looking. There's a time-lapse video showing how one of Close's works is created; it's fascinating. The show is one of the best I've seen on helping viewers understand both concept and realization, and especially how important collaboration is for Close. The show is full of interesting bits about how Close came to learn how to do something, often by accident.

    Unfortunately, I couldn't make Close's talk at the gallery a few days before.

  4. George

    And to see the results. Excellent "portrait", Nancie!

  5. Nancie Mills Pipgras

    Steve — I am so glad you posted about your experiment. I would be interested to hear what you learned from the exercise — other than it is hard. Nancie

  6. Steve Smilen

    I tried recently to reconstruct the intricacies of a Close piece using venetian glass. Very difficult but fascinating to visually dissect his techniques. It takes immense concentration to paint as he does and now..painting with this disability is just mind-boggling.

Adams.jpgAndrea Sala & Giulia Alecci "Co-musivo" 2013  VideoHouston.jpgSt. Me  2004  14 x 11 inches  Smalti, gold smalti, marble.sara.jpgWebb_Bryant Patio RaysMohamad Banawy "Abstract 3" 2010 80 x 80 cm  Clay, glass.Luca Barberini Bone Flowersandres_basurto_large08.jpgBeauchamps-SeasonofSunandwind-2AprilBegayhungry-for-gold-320x312Jolino_Bessera_DontCutYourTongueOnTheRhinestonesMarie-laure-BessonFragmentsIVBiggsTide6272969822_38f84a7e5f_z.jpgMeredith Live Oak bark, recycled tempered glass, paint, metallic powders39.jpgMangere+Mosaic.jpgToyoharu Kii "Crime Report - Testimony" 2013 (Japan)Jo BraunMarco_Bravura_Recuperi_d'_OroSunflowers+smalti+unglazed+ceramic+63+x+48+cm.jpgLilian_Broca_Queen_Esther_Revealing_Her_True_IdentityCarl&SandraBryantCaCO3  "Movimento n.1"  2007  60 x 85 cm  LimestoneMosaic at La Scuola Mosaicisti del Friuli (Splimbergo)  Photo:  James TaylorAndrea Sala & Giulia Alecci "Co-musivo" 2013  VideoAndrea Sala & Giulia Alecci "Co-musivo" 2013  Videomail-2.jpgCharny Birds in Hair 10000-Chinn32.jpgRamblings_for_sending_copy12.jpgSergio Cicognani Untitled 82 x 90cm  Marble, smalti, fresco paintingSelf-Portrait, 2004-2005 102 x 86Clough.jpgBiggs_and_CollingsRebecca_Collins_StrengthToStrength_2011Luca_Carlo_Colomba_4552.jpgKeKe Cribbs "Casa PapaDoble"  Photo from the artist's Facebook page.DSCN0270.JPGCzapracki.jpgJeanAnn Dabb "Assay 1: Delamar" 2012  20 in. diameter  Bone ash cupels, ceramic crucibles, glass, porcelain.  In the background:  "Core:  Tintic District"  2012  Triptych 70 x 13 in panels.  Stone core samples, ceramic, smalti, woodAndrea Deszö  "Community Garden"  2006Julie_Dilling_Keep_Me_WarmDimit.jpgKatrina Doran  Noli Me TangereGary Drostle, 2010 "Movement and Vitality" DetailDrouin.jpgErcolani.jpgFaileSizeVisionMosaic.jpgneda-600x400.jpgToyoharu Kii "Crime Report - Testimony" 2013 (Japan)Cynthia Full 54,5x65cmSara Frost "Querty" Detail  Photo: via Colossal.com1st Prize, Professional Category:  Karen Ami (USA) "Dialogues"Andrea Sala & Giulia Alecci "Co-musivo" 2013  Video5pods.jpgRed+Pods.jpgLarry_M_Levine.jpgGoode.jpgElaine M Goodwin Touching ParadiseRoberta Grasso "Memory of a Dream" 2012  460 x 230 cm  Silicon, smalti, ceramic glass, organza, tulle.Jhgreen_wall.jpgfull.jpgErika+full.jpgHanansen_GRS_framed_2000Photo Anabella WewerHisao Matsuo "Don't Tell What Was Seen In The Woods" 24 x 35"Andrea Sala & Giulia Alecci "Co-musivo" 2013  VideoProgressonIII Rhonda HeislerIMG_1199.jpgLaura Hiserote "No Time To Be Koi"  DetailSamantha Holmes "Absensce (Moscow)" 2012  260 x 150 cm  Marble, smalti, ceramic glass, gold.hubbell-intro.jpgTessa_Hunkin_Varieties_PeakingDog_PhotoTHHutchinson_Tango_Corto1Iliya Iliev  "Sesif"  2010  70x120cm diptych.  Stones, glassMombasa.jpgToyoharu Kii "Crime Report - Testimony" 2013 (Japan)Iskander+Impromptu-in-Blue+2000.jpgSamantha Holmes "Unspoken 10.22.20 - 07.07.10" 2011 55x55x5 cmjones-time-for-lunch-1000Francien Jongsma Simonemichaelferris.jpgZhanna Kadyrova "Diamonds" 2006  Variable. Cement, tile.Kaitis.jpgVadzim Kamisarau "The Main News 3"  2012  50 x 95 cm  Cement, smaltikenawy-memories-full1Keren.jpgKate_KerriganWalkingInRainMatko_KezleInki-400-bimg-kii-blue-grids-in-blue-big.jpgPermafrost+King.jpgAndrej-Koruza-Structured-1-2011-Detailkozachek+Three+Intruding+Fanatics.jpgMichael_Kruzich_SylvesterToyoharu Kii "Crime Report - Testimony" 2013 (Japan)Toyoharu Kii "Crime Report - Testimony" 2013 (Japan)Melaine_Lenoelevy-a-man-in-a-waiting-room-300dpi-1000Bett Ann Libby "China Leaf Tea" 2006  13 x 13 x 10 in.  Photo:  David CarasMarco De Luca "Mosaico blu" 2007 39 x 24.5 cmLucas.jpgSager.jpgtarantulalongMonicaMachado2012stone-circle-dugald-macinnesMohamad Banawy "Abstract 3" 2010 80 x 80 cm  Clay, glass.MAN2009-Marzi-foto.jpgEaster_Egg_Mosaic_02.jpgAnadoMcLaughlinru paul2.pngHildreth_MeiereCathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, Drinking deer mosaic on northJeroen Meijer "HIgh Expectations and a Dog Called Lucky" 2007" 127 x 72 cm (inc. frame)  Vitreous tile, stone, glass beads, photo print on tile, bullets, chain, copper rod, jigsaw pieces."More American Gifts:  Grenades"  2005  5.5 x 3.9 x 3.5 in  Ceramic, porcelain, plaster, wire, metal, cement adhesive, grout.the rainJason Middlebrook "Brooklyn SeedsAndrea Deszö  "Community Garden"  2006Julian+Modica+50+x+50+cm.jpgLynnMoorPipgtailGirlBOMIMG_6541.jpgJinette+Mosaique.jpgMosaic at La Scuola Mosaicisti del Friuli (Splimbergo)  Photo:  James TaylorCleo Mussi "Icon" 2012Ti_Desidoro_1Toyoharu Kii "Crime Report - Testimony" 2013 (Japan)Megumi-Naitoh-4192010-detail-Michael-WelchFamiliarGroundNewton Serenity 2FelicesBalls_4546.jpg8419_1251766378980_1374130919_703135_1818425_n.jpgChoucair Oueijan-Cerulean Rendezvous-full111_0424.jpgFamiliarGroundNiki_de_Saint_Phalle_Tarot_Garden114Picasso.TeteFauveSergio-Policicchio-Corpi-celesti-2011Andrea Sala & Giulia Alecci "Co-musivo" 2013  VideoAndrea Sala & Giulia Alecci "Co-musivo" 2013  VideoRebecca+detail.jpgAndjelka Radojevic  My Little ChickadeeGila+Rayberg+Morning+After.jpg"Fall"  detail  Photo:  NTMP3312140193_3f2f0905ec.jpgNightshirt-Richey.jpegMo-Ringey-Stools-2004Faith Ringgold "Flying Home:  Harlem Heroes and Heroines (Downtown and Uptown)" 1996  Photo via MTA Arts for Transitdiego_rivera1-320x160anna-rommel-green-fishimg_38021clug romaniaAndrea Sala & Giulia Alecci "Co-musivo" 2013  VideoRuth_Minola_Scheibler_nightflight_024x4+Denae-Arthur+Rackam.jpgmedium_Reminiscence.jpgWINDSTILL+1.jpgGino-Severini-Church-of-St-Mark-Cortona-Mosaic-wiki-cropIlana Shafir WhirlBeneath+1.jpgmail.JPGVox+Sizemore.JPG100_5652.jpgSelf+Portrat.jpgSollinger+Old+Growth+2000.jpgPhoto Anabella WewerPam Stratton "Twin Lights"Toyoharu Kii "Crime Report - Testimony" 2013 (Japan)Photo Anabella Wewermetamorphosis_lg.jpgKathy Thaden  The VisitCynthia Toops "Wolf and Dog" 2012 2.75 x 2.75 x .25 in. Plymer clay, sterling silver metalwork by Chuck Domitrovich  Photo:  Michael WelchPhoto Anabella WewerMatylda Tracewska "Black Square III"  2011  80 x 80 x 4 cm.  Marble, smalti.Andrea Sala & Giulia Alecci "Co-musivo" 2013  VideoCrack+true.jpgTunick_07_1Federico UribeVital CU 02vortex+close+up.jpgennisHouse_1428291c.jpgIsaiah Anado and RichardAleksey Zhuchov "Still Life With Bottles" 2012  50.5 x 47 cm  Natural and artificial stone, smalti.