Chuck Close
Artist
01:29

Chuck Close Photographs Brad Pitt

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Chuck Close on the passion of Brangelina.

Chuck Close

Chuck Close is an American artist noted for his highly inventive techniques used to paint the human face. He is best known for his large-scale, Photo-Realist portraits.

In 1988 a spinal blood clot left Close almost completely paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. A brush-holding device strapped to his wrist and forearm, however, allowed him to continue working. In the 1990s he replaced the minute detail of his earlier paintings with a grid of tiles daubed with colourful elliptical and ovoid shapes. Viewed up close, each tile was in itself an abstract painting; when seen from a distance, the tiles came together to form a dynamic deconstruction of the human face. In 1998 the Museum of Modern Art in New York City mounted a major retrospective of Close's portraits. Close has been called a Photo-Realist, a Minimalist, and an Abstract Expressionist but, as the 1998 retrospective proved, his commitment to his unique vision and his evolving techniques defy any easy categorization.

Transcript

Chuck Close: After a kind of unfortunate start in which his handler, in an attempt to protect him, wrote an unbelievably stupid contract and I said, “Obviously, you don’t know how this thing works.”

Brad [Pitt] was very, very embarrassed that the people around him were asking him for all this stuff. And he contacted me and he said, “This isn’t me, I didn’t do this. I know you’re work, and I would just like to be photographed by you.”

So, we spent the day together and I found him to be a very interesting guy. I think a person of, speaking of integrity, a person of very high integrity, and a person with real passion for his work, but also a passion for the things that he believes in, causes that he and Angelina [Jolie] are involved with. It was a real pleasure to get to know him.

Recorded on: February 5, 2009


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