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Art and Artists
 Africa, Sierra Leone
 Chuck Close
 James Ensor
 Frank Gehry
 Robert Gwathmey
 Marsden Hartley
 Pepón Osorio
 James Rosenquist
 Ernest Whiteman


Inner Worlds What is Art?  Environment  Designing Spaces and Places
Chuck Close
About the Artist

American artist Chuck Close was born in 1940. Close painted many portraits of himself and his friends, either in black-and-white or in color. However, even though Close's subjects are people he knows, he wants his paintings to be impersonal. Most of the paintings are anonymous; they do not list the name of the person portrayed, or they include only a first name in the title. For Close, the visual elements are more important than the feelings expressed in the portraits. He said that his works are "paintings first and portraits second." He is attracted to photographs that have the mug-shot quality of a driver's-license photo. However, when thinking about this particular painting, Close admits his feelings did influence the image, and this self-portrait reveals elements of his personality. He wryly confesses that during this time in his life he is guilty of "having seen too many James Dean movies." (James Dean is known for his performance in the film Rebel Without a Cause in which he portrayed a young, free-spirited, tough guy who resisted authority.)

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Inner Worlds | What is Art? | Environment | Designing Spaces and Places | Identity
About the Art | About the Artist | Discussion Questions/Activities | Teacher Lessons