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Research Papers on Chuck Close

Research papers on Chuck Close examine the life and work of a brilliant contemporary artist. Your research paper on Close will want to overview his life, his work with tapestry and perhaps an exploration of why he chooses a particular person to focus on for his works.

Chuck Close represents a truly unique perspective to the metamorphosis an artist makes from what his work began as, into what it is today.  In a form of digression, Close began his career in the 1960's producing portraits just short of amazing photorealism, to what are now defined closer to abstract portraits that simulate digitized photos.  By a closer review of his works and life, the reason for this digression of clarity becomes obvious and perhaps brilliant.  Chuck Close’s work represents post-modern art in a subtle, introspective, and revealing form. Some of Close's more famous works include:

  • Lucas I (1986-1987)
  • Tapestry portraits of Kate Moss, Cindy Sherman, Lou Reed and Roy Lichtenstein
  • Black and white tapestry of Philip Glass
  • Polaroid portraits of Robert DeNiro, Julia Roberts and Oprah Winfrey
Chuck Close

Chuck Close and His Career

Chuck Close’s career began in New York City in 1967 when he started to paint enormous portraits based on small black and white photographs with the use of an airbrush.  He then graduated to using color and acrylic to bring out intricate detail in an often-exaggerated form.  An example of his infamous work is demonstrated in the portrait of Linda, painted in 1975-76.  Linda is an example of hyperrealism and offers more detail than would a photograph of the same size, particularly emphasizing rough skin, facial hair and other unpleasant aspects. Close’s deliberate reliance upon technological methods and concepts link his art to his time and suggest a bond between portraiture and mechanical reproduction.

Sherman and Chuck Close

Other artists of his day that were concerned with portraiture and mechanical reproduction were Cindy Sherman and George Segal. Cindy Sherman did portraiture like Close and began her career the same time he did. Her self-portraiture ranges from personal issues to global gender issues. Placing herself in the image is the most appropriate way that Sherman knows to convey her message accurately and solves the historical problem of using models, which blur the true meaning of the artists message. In her work Untitled #96, we see a youngish woman, played by Sherman herself (as always), lying on an orange tile floor and loosely holding a ripped section of telephone book or newspaper page. She may be a teenager. In this photograph, for instance, orange suggests femininity and innocence. The viewer is called upon to write the narrative of the still life, therefore inserts their own views of society upon the subject, which is usually Sherman in some form of staged dressing or scenery. Her poses and staged situations reflect isolation from family and society and leave an after taste of helplessness in the character captured on the page. Sherman, and those contemporaries that examine the Post-Modernism of what they call “the hollow conventions of modern art and life” attempt to break away from contemporary art historical concerns and express what Arnason describe as “a collective longing for continuity with more innocent times, times with less problematic sense of the future”.

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