Known for Photoreal Portraits, Artist Chuck Close Dead at 81

Known for his photorealist paintings, Artist Chuck Close passed away on Thursday. He was 81 years old. 

The Washington Post and the Pace Gallery Director of Public Relations, Adriana Elgarresta, confirmed that Close’s death was the cause of congestive heart failure by Close’s lawyer José Silberman.

Close made highly detailed paintings based on his own photographs with his friends, using an airbrush and a diluted black paint.

He was born in 1962, and then earned his bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree in fine arts from Yale and a degree at Fine Art School in Vienna. Having received a degree in the arts from Washington University on 5 July 1940.

In 1967, he moved to New York where he developed a photorealistic style of picture drawing a picture grid and a larger grid on a blank canvas that created the ‘Big Self-Portrait.’

The photograph depicted him looking through his black-arounded glasses on a 7-by-9-ft canvas, smoking a cigarette.

Close later his process was translated into the computer, which he used to produce portraits of Cecily Brown, Kiki Smith, Cindy Sherman and Kara Walker, adding colors to his paintings and eventually scanning hand-paintings.

In 1967, the university deemed several male nodes obscene and sent campus police to disband the show during his first solo exhibition at the University of Amherst, which it was at the time teaching, to be obscene.

Close has been tried, but the judgment has been reversed on appeal by the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Association of University Professors

In 2017, several women who came to his studio to pose charged Close between 2005 and 2013 with sexual harassment.

Close’s work following these accusations had been delayed indefinitely by the National Gallery of Art in Washington.

The Close spinal artery collapsed in 1988, but ultimately, after months of rehabilitation, he was able to regain motion in his arms and sit and paint with brushing to his hand.

In 2015 he also received a diagnosis of frontal lobe dementia.

His daughters, Georgia and Maggie, and four grandchildren have been married twice and survived.

Source: UPI

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