RIP to Photorealist Painter and the Controversial, Chuck Close, 1940—2021
One of America's most famed painters, Chuck Close, has passed away at the age of 81. Known for his large-scale photorealist paintings, often self-portraits and portraits of friends and fellow artists, including Bill Clinton's presidential portrait in 2000, the painter's works often loomed large in museums and galleries worldwide throughout his career. Close had spent his life since 1988 in a wheelchair due to an injury to a spinal blood vessel that left him nearly paralyzed. After a diagnosis of dementia in 2015 and then accusations of sexual harassment in 2017, Close had been away from the public eye before his death on the 19th of August.
“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who'll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you're sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that's almost never the case.” ― Chuck Close