Chuck Close has been painting the same people for decades: Philip Glass, for example, and, of course, himself. But as he’s often said, what fascinates him is how he paints, not what he paints. Indeed, over the course of his 40- year career, Close has used oil paint, airbrushes, paper pulp, colored pencil, cameras, and his own fingers to create his familiar large-scale portraits.
This week at Pace Gallery, Close will introduce us to his latest medium: the inkjet printer. Alongside never-before-seen portraits of Glass, Paul Simon, Lou Reed, and Cindy Sherman, Close is unveiling a trio of canvases that represent his first serious foray into digital imagery.
It’s worth pointing out that Close’s technique is often compared to an analogue version of digital printing. He works from photographs of his subjects, gridding each canvas into a series of “pixels,” and applies three or more layers of paint to each diamond, getting more precise with each pass. After he was partially paralyzed by a catastrophic spinal artery burst, his style got looser and less exact but remained hyperreal. During a visit to the Colbert Report in 2010 (a sweet interview worth checking out), Colbert even accused him of using a printer.
Read more at Fast Company.