For decades Chuck Close's (*1940) 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.