When painter and printmaker Chuck Close was a student at Yale in the early 1960s, he was greatly influenced by abstract expressionism. But as the decade wore on, Close became increasingly fascinated with a way of working that more closely resembled photography —something that would come to be known as photorealism. In his unique working process, Close would first photograph his subject and then put a grid over it, breaking the image down into many tiny individual elements. When he experienced a spinal blood clot in 1988 that left him unable to move his arms or legs, Close reinvented himself and his work again —using a mouth brush to paint and having assistants grid off his work. Hear about Close and his extraordinary work —which has made him one of the most influential artists of our time— as he delivers a talk at the Locks Foundation Distinguished Artists Series on April 7.
—Chuck Close speaks on April 7 at 6 p.m. at Zellerbach Theatre, Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut St. Free, but tickets are required: 215-898-3900 or at the box office. Info: www.design.upenn.edu.
Originally published on March 31, 2005