Received a Masters of Fine Arts degree at Yale University; Studied in Vienna, Austria
He was born in Monroe, Washington in 1940, and went through with a university education. Following his art training, he taught art for three years at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, before going on to pursue a more concentrated art career in New York City in the year 1967. He was in good health until his spinal artery suddenly collapsed in 1988, leaving him paralyzed. He was able to obtain limited mobility in some joints of his upper body and continued to paint by strapping a paintbrush to his wrist and moving the brush in circular motions. Presently, he uses a hydraulic lift to move his around the canvas to complete his paintings.
In the time of Abstract Expressionism, Chuck Close went against the mainstream style and redefine portraiture like no other artist. Chuck Close is a photorealist who took realism to a whole other level. Close paints strictly from photos, transferring the photo on to canvases that are typically three meters high. He uses grids to transfer images from photographs to the canvas, enhancing details along the way to create a shockingly lifelike image. His earlier work captured the photographic feel. He even went as far as to blur out things farther away from the face the way the lens blurs out the background in a photo.
A large part of this earlier realism is the emphasis. Unlike traditional artists who focus on the eyes, Chuck Close pays a lot of attention to the skins and wrinkles as well as details in the hair. By capturing every wrinkle and every pore, he brings out the undeniable realism in the painting. The series of images done in this technique started off as black and white images and eventually evolved into color during the 1970's.
In the 1980's, he started towards abstraction. His best known technique is the fingerprint paintings in which he used an inkpad and his own fingerprints to fill in the grid of his canvas. The canvases got bigger, but the realism was still there, in fact, if a person were to stand at a distance where he/she could see the entire image, it would be very difficult for that person to tell that the piece was created with fingerprints. Once the person gets close enough to see the fingerprints, it is very unlikely that he/she can get a good view of the piece as a whole.
His most current stage of abstraction is one developed after he became partially paralyzed. He fills each of his grids with an oval composed of a few rings of bright colors. The style is still realistic, but not to the degree of Superrealism. Average paintings done with this technique is typically smaller than his earlier work.