Nationality & Life Dates:
American, born 1940
Self-Portrait (3 Parts)
Dye diffusion print (Polaroid)
77 x 43 1/2 inches
Gift of Lucinda W. Bunnen for the Bunnen Collection
On View - Wieland Pavilion, Skyway Level, Gallery 417
Chuck Close is well-known for his large-scale paintings of heads, all of which are based on photographs. Although photographs have been essential to Close’s art since the late 1960s, he primarily views them as tools for his paintings rather than independent works of art. This enormous, three-panel photograph depicting the lower half of Close’s bearded face was a point of departure for the artist. It is one of a series of multipanel self-portraits produced while experimenting with a large-format Polaroid camera in 1979 to 1980.
Like the paintings for which he is known, Close’s photographs are intensely realistic and representational, while directing our attention on the process of picture making. Here Close ignores the customary focus on the eyes and concentrates instead on the chin in this vastly over-life-size self-portrait.