Chuck Close: Life
For decades Close's larger-than-life and unflinchingly honest paintings of friends and family, and self-portraits have won admiration from a wide audience. Having reinvented portraiture for the late twentieth century, he is now arguably America's most famous living artist. Not everyone who appreciates his work realizes the extraordinary determination and talent behind the art. In this book, following the publication of his celebrated monograph on Close's art, Christopher Finch offers an intimate, revealing portrait of the artist. Close's inspiring story is one of overcoming obstacles, pursuing artistic integrity, and striving always to learn and grow. Finch, a veteran writer and critic who has known Close intimately since his early days in the rough-and-tumble bohemia of 1960s SoHo in New York, tells Close's inspiring personal history - his struggle with learning disabilities as a youth and his triumph over a medical catastrophe (a collapsed anterior spinal artery) that left him almost completely paralyzed below the neck. How he regained his ability to make art and not only resumed but, as many believe, surpassed his previous work, is an unparalleled story.
Chuck Close is one of the most acclaimed American artists to emerge since Andy Warhol. His larger-than-life portraits look out from the walls of museums and galleries aroiund the globe. His virtuosity and variety of technique, combined with the ambition and accessibility of his chosen subject matterthe portrait re-invented on a heroic scale has made him a great favorite with the public and has won him the respect of his peers. Chuck Close has achieved fame, yet his full story has never been told until now. Author Christopher Finch has known Close since the late 1960s when the artist was creating his first masterpieces in an unheated SoHo loft. Finch chronicles Close's childhood battles with illness and dyslexia and his riseto the pinnacle of the art world. At the age of 48 he was struck down by an occluded spinal artery that left him a partial quadriplegic. With extraordinary determination, Close overcame this potentially career-ending disability, not only learning to paint again but producing work of extraordinary richness that equals or surpasses his previous achievements. With style and authority, Finch reveals the human reality behind Close's visually eloquent but eternally silent portraits.
Christopher Finch has written more than two dozen books about art and popular culture, including the bestseller The Art of Walt Disney. His most recent monograph is Chuck Close: Work (Prestel).