| || |
Working grid photograph of Phil
Gelatin silver print, with ink and masking tape
13 3/4 x 10 3/4 ins
© Chuck Close. Courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York
Some art critics considered Chuck Close an artistic Antichrist because he worked from photographs instead of directly from life. Close admired the camera's ability to level hierarchy, to see all of a subject equally and not to place more importance on one area than another. Close took that lack of hierarchy, as used by Abstract Expressionistic painters like Frank Stella, and applied it to representational painting so that every square inch was made the same way and had the same visual attitude. Close stated: "I wanted to make something that was impersonal and personal, arm's-length and intimate, minimal and maximal, using the least amount of paint possible but providing the greatest amount of information. . . . I always thought the best art was extreme whatever it was."
Robert Shorr, et al., Chuck Close (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1998), 89.