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Chuck Close: Three Major Works

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I don’t really have a favorite artist, but the one artist that I have always had a little interest in is Chuck Close. He is truly a talented artist, whose remarkable career has extended beyond his completed works of art. Chuck Close started painting at the age of six and has never stopped. Growing up, Chuck had a learning disability, and in the 1940s, most educators didn’t know about LD’s or Dyslexia. Most student’s who had Chuck’s trouble reading, spelling, concentrating, or paying attention was often labeled slow or dumb. As a result, Chuck spent most of his childhood days alone, drawing. When most kids around his block wanted to be a policemen or firemen, Chuck wanted to be an artist. Art was the first thing he was ever good at, and it made him feel special because he possessed skills that other kids didn’t have. Chuck said , “Art saved my life” (Greenberg and Jordan). At age eleven, Chuck’s father died. His mother, who gave piano lessons at home, took a full-time sales job to support the family. At school Chuck’s learning disabilities made studying very difficult, but instead of giving up, he figured out a way to concentrate. “I filled the bathtub to the brim with hot water. A board across the bathtub held my book. I would shine a spotlight on it. The rest of the bathroom was dark. Sitting in the hot water, I would read each page of the book five times out loud so I could hear it. If I stayed up half the night in the tub till my skin was wrinkled as a raisin, I could learn it. The next morning I could spit back just enough information to get by on the test (Greenberg and Jordan). This discipline he had developed to get through school, now became the beginning of a detailed system that he used to organize his art.
Chuck said, “ Almost every decision I’ve had to make as an artist is an outcome of my particular learning disorders” (Green and Jordan).When he makes a big head or a nose, he breaks the images down into small units. He makes each decision into a bite-size decision. The system liberates and allows for intuition and eventually he has a painting. Three of Chuck’s major works, that I have grew to love are Fanny/Fingerprinting, Lucas II , and his self- portrait.
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