Born In: Monroe, Washington, U.S.
Chuck Close was an American painter who rose to fame as a photorealist with his large-scale, intricate portraits of the human face. He was known for his extraordinary artistic abilities and inventive techniques which made him one of the most innovative artists of the contemporary times. A major figure of the painting movement of Photorealism which emerged during the 1970s, he is credited to have made the genre of photorealism an artistic medium in its own right. By effortlessly blurring the distinction between photography and painting, he has created several magnificent works of art which are much sought after by museums and collectors. Born as the son of artistically inclined parents, he too developed an early interest in the arts. He suffered from severe dyslexia as a child and sought solace in art and soon realized that he was blessed with a high degree of creativity and artistic abilities. He studied at Academy of Fine Arts Vienna before embarking on his career and eventually turned his attention towards photorealism. Throughout his life he was plagued by ill health and he suffered from several medical conditions. However, his illnesses never thwarted his ambitions as a painter.
Also Known As: Charles Thomas , Charles Thomas Close
Died At Age: 81
Spouse/Ex-: Leslie Rose, Sienna Shields
father: Leslie Durward Close
mother: Mildred Wagner Close
Born Country: United States
place of death: Oceanside, New York, U.S.
education: University of Washington, 1964 - Yale University, Yale School of Art
awards: World Press Photo Award for Portraits
By the late 1960s he had started to gain prominence and his work was displayed in important New York galleries and at the Whitney Museum of American Art. With time he became more popular and was exhibiting in prestigious international exhibitions in the early 1970s.
Over his illustrious career he had created several wall-size tapestry portraits in which each image is composed of thousands of combinations of woven colored thread. Some of the subjects he depicted on his tapestries include Barack Obama, Lou Reed, Kate Moss, Lucas Samaras, and Philip Glass.
He held several solo exhibitions in his career, and also participated in almost 800 group exhibitions, including documentas V (1972) and VI (1977), the Venice Biennale (1993, 1995, 2003), and the Carnegie International (1995). His most recent retrospective—‘Chuck Close Paintings: 1968/2006’—was held in 2007.
His first marriage was to Leslie Rose with whom he had two daughters. The couple divorced in 2011.
In 2013, Chuck Close married artist Sienna Shields. They later parted ways.
In 1988, he suffered a seizure which left him paralyzed from the neck down. He spent months in rehab strengthening his muscles with physical therapy and learned to use a wheelchair. Ever the resilient soul, he returned to painting and re-established himself as one of America’s favorite artists.
In 2015, Close was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia. Chuck Close died on 19th August 2021, from congestive heart failure, in Oceanside New York. He was 81.
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