“ If human identity begins with what Jacques Lacan calls a mirror stage, no one has spent longer in front of the mirror. If originality and humanity are illusions created by superhuman forces, no one else puts the illusion through quite so many paces.”
The process that he used becomes quite apparent in many of his works, the use of the classical grid.
From in his move from his early work to later, more contemporary work, Close begins to deconstruct his own image and perhaps is showing the multi-faceted nature of humanity and himself.
Chuck Close Self-Portrait , (2002–03) oil on canvas
Woodblock Printing Close works closely with other artists who assist him in his work ( Yasu Shibata) and works in the style of Japanese Ukiyo-e prints. His work Emma is made up of 113-color hand printed ukiyo-e woodcuts and is 36 x 30 inches.
Reduction Block – where the initial block is cut, printed, then cut away more. At the end of the whole process, the block use rendered useless because the original plate has been ruined.
Etching – where the surface of a plate is scratched away and ink rubbed over it. The plate then is put through a press and the ink transfers onto the paper. In the case of Close, because his etchings are in colour, he had to make multiple plates of colours that would be built up order to create the final image.
CHUCK CLOSE LYLE (2000) etching Chuck Close Roy (1998) Reduction Linocut
“ Chuck Close's subjects are his family, his friends, himself, and fellow artists whose faces are described through his distinct, meticulous marks. Working from a gridded photograph, Chuck Close builds his images by applying one careful stroke after another in multi-colours or greyscale. Chuck Close works are generally larger than life and highly focused. For Chuck Close, it is the process of description that renders meaning, rather than the subject itself.” - http://www.paceprints.com/artistportfolio/artistportfolio.asp?aID=18&UID=1020
Chuck Close Self Portrait / Spitbite*/ White on Black (1997) Aquatint * Traditionally, a clean brush was coated with saliva, dipped into nitric acid and brushed onto the ground, hence the term "spitbite." Chuck Close Phil/Fingerprint, State II, (1981) Lithograph
Chuck Close Marta/Fingerprint (1986) Direct gravure etching Chuck Close Emily/Fingerprint (1986) Direct gravure etching Rotogravure ( gravure for short) is a type of intaglio printing process, in that it involves engraving the image onto an image carrier. In gravure printing, the image is engraved onto a copper cylinder because, like offset and flexography, it uses a rotary printing press.
Cindy Sherman Lorna Simpson Phillip Glass Close as photographer…
Chuck Close Phil (1969) Chuck Close Lorna I (1996)
“ Close's sitters are consistently posed in a manner that allows only the subtlest of individual inflections. At first glance the polaroids the artist works from resemble driver's license or passport photos but are imposing in a way I.D. pictures can never be. Inherently grand in scale and aura even when the format is small and the features portrayed unremarkable, these "maquettes," as the artist calls them, are a primary product of his sensibility rather than a casually arrived at notational resource. Close chooses his subjects from among his family and friends--including artists such as Richard Serra, Cindy Sherman, Alex Katz, Roy Lichtenstein, and Robert Rauschenberg--to create works that range from coolly unemotional likenesses of unidentified individuals to psychologically charged glimpses of well-known members of the contemporary art world.” -www.chuckclose.com