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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Chuck Close: Three Major Works - 1109 words
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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. These portraits are beautiful and filled with a lot of creativity.
The portrait entitled Fanny is one of my favorites. Chuck created this painting by pressing his wet fingers into an ink pad and then stamping them against a smooth surface. Chuck painted Fanny in his familiar hyperrealism way with every fold and wrinkle of her face visible, but instead of airbrush he built the image out of broken chunks of fingerprints. Chuck said, "I never intended to crank up the emotional content. I found that if you present something straightforward, a person's face is a road map of his life" (Greenberg and Jordan). Fanny, Chuck's wife grandmother ,was a person who had tremendous tragedy in her life. She was the only survivor from her whole family in World War two.
But, even through her tragedy, she still remained an optimistic and lovely person. Both of these characteristics can be seen in her face, throughout the portrait ( Yau, John). Another portrait I love is entitled Lucas II. Chuck experimented with thousands of vibrating dots of color. What I like about this painting is that, his eyes drills the viewer and the star burst colors sucks the viewer into a swirling vortex.
In the painting, Chuck draws our eyes to a single point, the focal point, between the subject's eyes by creating a target like pattern of concentric circles around it. The circles are intersected by broken lines of color that radiate from the center, causing a sense of simultaneous movement outward from the center point and back inward. Color contributes to the focal point of Lucas II in a very dramatic way. (Rathus, Lois Fichner) The painting is extraordinary, it makes Lucas look like a mad or crazy scientist. He reminds me of the scientist, in the novel, Frankenstein, who made Frankenstein and then abandon him. His hair resembles electricity, and his eyes look evil. This portrait is truly one of his best work.
The final portrait that Chuck created that I love is entitled, Self-Portrait. In his self-portrait, Chuck Close seems less interested in clarity than in creating the illusion of a grainy and blurry photographic likeness. Chuck Close superimpose a grid over his portrait and then transfer the contents of each of the squares of this grid to another, enlarged grid on a 29 half inch times 22 inch piece of drawing paper using conte crayon. By working square by square, Chuck can focus on the almost infinite tonal variations inherent in black and white photography and can then attempt to re-create them through scribbled, hatched, blurred, and smudged lines. The contrasts in value differentiate the details of the Chuck's portrait, from his bald head and eyeglasses to his moustache and beard.
Many of the Chuck's unidealized portraits are based on this grid-transfer method, some featuring the vibrant colors of pastel and oil paint. (Rathus, Lois Fichner) He has three versions of his self-portrait. The first one has grid boxes, filled with little colorful circles that make up his face. The second portrait is exactly the same, but the only difference is he only painted with black, white, and gray colors. The third portrait is filled with a variety of different colors, but Chuck didn't paint the grid boxes filled with circled colors. Chuck tried scribble etching this time, and the painting came out great.
His self-portrait is another of his greatest work. In conclusion, Chuck Close is my favorite artist because I think he is tremendously talented. Even with his learning disabilities, growing up, he never gave up or got discourage. He barly made it out of high school but when he did, his professors told him not to bother with college. Despite all circumstances, he still went to college, and later on, got excepted to the University of Yale.
All of Chuck's portraits are amazing. They're all filled with his creativity, and it's amazing how when he looks at a photo, that is what he sees. Each of his portraits is unique, and each of them says something to the viewer. Chuck Close is a great artist. Work CitedClay, John Finding the color world an interview with Chuck Close.
23 Feb. 2005 Rahus, Lois Fichner. Understanding Art. 7th ed. New Jersey:Wadsworth,2004Yau, John.
Recent Paintings. New York: Pace Wildenstein,1996.
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