Chuck Close: A Portrait in Progress (1998)

Genres - Visual Arts  |   Sub-Genres - Biography, Graphic & Applied Arts  |   Run Time - 60 min.  |   Countries - United States  |  
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Synopsis by Sarah Welsh

The story of Chuck Close belongs to both the rarefied world of art and to the annals of human triumph over adversity. Originally drawn to painting as a means of dealing with a childhood learning disability, Close began his career by creating massive black-and-white portraits, astonishingly detailed and sometimes brutally realistic. Having caught the attention of critics and the public, he went on to experiment with different artistic influences -- Impressionism, computer-generated imagery, cubism, mosaic -- while staying true to certain self-imposed rules for his portraiture. In 1988, when the 48-year-old Close's spinal artery collapsed and left him paralyzed from the neck down, he feared he would never paint again. After a difficult fight to regain movement, however, Close has succeeded not only in painting again, but in continuing to grow as an artist and in receiving critical raves for his work. Director Marion Cajori's compelling documentary explores Close's inspiring life story while showcasing his vibrant and thought-provoking portraits. Featuring appearances by contemporary New York artists Leslie Close, Philip Glass, Mark Greenwold, Alex Katz, Dorothea Rockburne, and Kiki Smith.



artist, modern-art, creativity, learning-disabilities, painting, perseverance, behind-the-scenes, career-retrospective, Impressionism, mosaic, Cubism