Self Portrait, 2007 by Chuck Close
The artwork that ignited my interest at the High Museum of Art was the Self Portrait, 2007 by Chuck Close. In this particular painting, Close was influenced by a printing technique used in Japan known as nishiki-e. The nishiki-e technique involves multicolored wooden block printings, which would have a specific engraving on it and then arranged in a particular way to make an image. Close liked to experiment and combine different styles and techniques such as employing “different media and materials, using airbrush and even his own fingertips” (Spires) to create new artworks. Close had once said, “Some of these marks look like hot dogs, some look like doughnuts, some are almost square… My paintings are built like someone would knit than the way someone traditionally paints” (Over and Over Again). Close mainly painted gigantic portraits of family, friends; usually people he knew. The portraits that Close did of people “are so big that when the viewer stands close, the surface looks like a series of blobs. But, from a distance, large face emerges” (Over and Over Again).
While talking about Chuck Close it is important to note his life style as a child. At the age of 4 years old, he loved to draw, so Close new that he wanted to be an artist when he got older. Close did not partake in many sporting activities because he was diagnosed with dyslexia, which kept him from being capable of playing with friends. By the age of 11, Close has already experienced a difficult life as a child but tragedies kept piling up for him such as, developing nephritis (a kidney infection), his mother getting breast cancer, his father dying, and his grandmother developing Parkinson’s disease and then losing their house because of all the medical bills. Many of people that knew Chuck Close in his school career thought he would never make it in college. He not only went on to graduate from the University of Washington, he then went to graduate from University of Yale. With his hard work and dedication in school and in his lifelong achievements in art, he became “the 1997 UW Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus, the highest honor an alumnus of the University of Washington can receive” (Marmor, Jon).
With the Abstract Expressionism movement was created and flourished during the 1940’s after World War II, with Jackson Pollock was one of the pioneers of abstract art. When Close was 14 years of age, he seen an exhibit showing the work of Jackson Pollock and was inspired by the abstract art. Abstract Expressionism is defined as the:
“movement in experimental, nonrepresentational painting originating in the U.S. in the 1940s, with sources in earlier movements, and embracing many individual styles marked in common by freedom of technique, a preference for dramatically large canvases, and a desire to give spontaneous expression to the unconscious” (abstract expressionism).
By this definition, it tells me that abstract artists began to...