Yesterday I visited the Chuck Close exhibition at the MCA in Sydney – what a mind blowing experience! You may know his work – if not, you should get to know his work. Portraits – HUGE faces of people who are friends and relatives, celebrities,too – I saw a much larger than life size Kate Moss in jacquard tapestry – pimples and all – Brad Pitt was there in a smaller image. Chuck Close has experimented with mezzotint – there is a fascinating room with the piece by piece proofs of an enormous and incredibly detailed face of a friend – Keith – along with the beautiful copper plate and the full story of its production – worth a read. He has worked with silkscreen, woodblock and lithographic printing in detail that is quite extraordinary. The working blocks are on display and proofs showing the step by step addition of small blocks of colour – some with 126 colours. Chuck Close is everywhere you look – there are multitudes of self portraits. Much of the work is in grid format – small squares or diamonds. There is a wonderful thick pile carpet of a face, and the total realism depicted in the monochromatic jacquard tapestries – on walking into the first room I thought I was looking at a photograph. Other images are built up from paper pulp or fingerprints! I have only told a tiny part of the story here but if you are interested in art, in exploring printing processes or in portraiture you really should visit the Chuck Close exhibition – it is on at the MCA in Sydney until the 15th March 2015 mca.com.au
Author: Christine Read
Christine Read is an artist and retired doctor. She lives in Lennox Head in the Northern Rivers region of NSW, Australia and is a keen observer of life and nature – this is apparent in her painting, in which she uses acrylic and oil paint. She also practices silk screen printing and drawing and is a member of Lennox Arts Collective. She is an avid traveller and runs local and international art retreats.