Words matter. These are the best Chuck Close Quotes, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.
My mother was a piano teacher, my father an inventor. He invented the reflective paint they still use on airstrips. They had faith in my ambition, and I think that made all the difference.
Photography is the easiest medium with which to be merely competent. Almost anybody can be competent. It’s the hardest medium in which to have some sort of personal vision and to have a signature style.
Of all the artists who emerged in the ’80s, I think perhaps Cindy Sherman is the most important.
In my art, I deconstruct and then I reconstruct, so visual perception is one of my primary interests.
I discovered about 150 dots is the minimum number of dots to make a specific recognizable person. You can make something that looks like a head, with fewer dots, but you won’t be able to give much information about who it is.
I’m very learning-disabled, and I think it drove me to what I’m doing.
What difference does it make whether you’re looking at a photograph or looking at a still life in front of you? You still have to look.
The first thing I do is take Polaroids of the sitter – 10 or 12 color Polaroids and eight or 10 black-and whites.
I don’t work with inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs. I just get to work.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every day. Today you will do what you did yesterday, and tomorrow you will do what you did today. Eventually you will get somewhere.
I have no intention of flattering people. I like wrinkles and crow’s feet and flaws, and somebody should know, if I’m going to photograph them, that’s going to show up, you know?
It’s always a pleasure to talk about someone else’s work.
No one was more surprised than me when my paintings started selling, except maybe my dealer.
I’m poor white trash from the state of Washington.
I’m plagued with indecision in my life. I can’t figure out what to order in a restaurant.
Painting is the most magical of mediums. The transcendence is truly amazing to me every time I go to a museum and I see how somebody figured another way to rub colored dirt on a flat surface and make space where there is no space or make you think of a life experience.
You don’t have to have a great art idea – just get to work and something will happen. So that’s pretty much my modus operandi and pretty much my principal position, such as it is.
Painting is a lie. It’s the most magic of all media, the most transcendent. It makes space where there is no space.
If the bottom dropped out of the market and the artist was not going to sell anything, he or she will keep working, and the dealer will keep trying to find some way to convince somebody to buy this stuff.
A photograph doesn’t gain weight or lose weight, or change from being happy to being sad. It’s frozen. You can use it, then recycle it.
I have a great deal of difficulty recognizing faces, especially if I haven’t – if I’ve just met somebody, it’s hopeless.
In the 7th grade, I made a 20-foot long mural of the Lewis and Clark Trail while we were studying that in history because I knew I wasn’t going to be able to spit back the names and the dates and all that stuff on a test.
Every child should have a chance to feel special.
I think women realise that I love women, and very often women seem to love me.
I always thought that one of the reasons why a painter likes especially to have other painters look at his or her work is the shared experience of having pushed paint around.
Women in general interest me. I like how women are more liable to talk about real things, personal things.
Sometimes I really want to paint somebody and I don’t get a photograph that I want to work from.
There’s something Zen-like about the way I work – it’s like raking gravel in a Zen Buddhist garden.
I’m not by nature a terribly intuitive person; I need to build a situation in which I will behave more intuitively, and that has really changed the life of my work – I found a way to trick myself into being intuitive.
Most people are good at too many things. And when you say someone is focused, more often than not what you actually mean is they’re very narrow.
It doesn’t upset artists to find out that artists used lenses or mirrors or other aids, but it certainly does upset the art historians.
Never let anyone define what you are capable of by using parameters that don’t apply to you.
Part of the joy of looking at art is getting in sync in some ways with the decision-making process that the artist used and the record that’s embedded in the work.
You know, the way art history is taught, often there’s nothing that tells you why the painting is great. The description of a lousy painting and the description of a great painting will very much sound the same.
I wanted to translate from one flat surface to another. In fact, my learning disabilities controlled a lot of things. I don’t recognize faces, so I’m sure it’s what drove me to portraits in the first place.
I don’t want the viewer to be able to peel away the layers of my painting like the layers of an onion and find that all the blues are on the same level.
Sculpture occupies real space like we do… you walk around it and relate to it almost as another person or another object.
Ease is the enemy of the artist. When things get too easy, you’re in trouble.
Neurologically, I’m a quadriplegic, so virtually everything about my work has been driven by my learning disabilities, which are quite severe, and my lack of facial recognition, which I’m sure is what drove me to paint portraits in the first place.
There are so many artists that are dyslexic or learning disabled, it’s just phenomenal. There’s also an unbelievably high proportion of artists who are left-handed, and a high correlation between left-handedness and learning disabilities.