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Friday, May 29, 2009

Chuck Close, the Great Photorealist

(close-up on a photo by Irving Penn)

A close-up from a famous photo made by Irving Penn, gathering five titans of the Contemporary Art: Kelly, Close, Johns, Rauschenberg, Noland.

It is a lot to say about Chuck Close and about Photorealism. The artist starts from taking rigorously each detail of our universe and the outcome is his universe. It is a new universe; no more ours; exactly because it respects all small details of our universe. I am obsessed with the idea of considering Junot Diaz as a Photorealist writer: his two books (Drown and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao) start from a rigorous photography of the reality; they are no more the reality; they became the universe created by Diaz.

But let's come back to Chuck Close. The Portrait of Nat is on view at the Washington National Gallery of Art; the Portrait of Roy is at Hirshhorn. I took a photo for each one, then I tried a video: just to follow each detail in hallucinatory walk over the face; to discover that these details are no more of our world, but of his, the hallucinatory world of Chuck Close. Loook at the image of Roy: Chuck Close recreating the ancient art of the mosaic!

Portrait of Nat, 1971
acrylic on canvas

Roy II, 1994
oil on canvas

(Washington DC National Gallery of Art)

(Hirshhorn Museum)

(Contemporary Art)



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