Quotes of Chuck Close

“ The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who'll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you're sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that's almost never the case. ”

- Chuck Close

“ Amateurs look for inspiration; the rest of us just get up and go to work. ”

- Chuck Close

“ 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. ”

- Chuck Close

“ I wasn't athletic, I couldn't catch a ball, I couldn't throw a ball, I had all kinds of physical limitations as well. So this was it. ”

- Chuck Close

“ At the same time that I'm finding the color world I want, I'm also trying to make the imagery, you know, by the nature of the strokes themselves. ”

- Chuck Close

“ I wasn't athletic, I couldn't catch a ball, I couldn't throw a ball, I had all kinds of physical limitations as well. So this was it. ”

- Chuck Close

“ In between those early ones and what I'm doing now, there were all kinds of pieces in which I tried to build works incrementally and let the increments show, so I sprayed dots or I used my finger prints or used chunks of pulp paper, or any one of a number of ways to build an image out of discrete individual units. ”

- Chuck Close

“ I've said it's a little bit like a magician performing for a convention of magicians… all the magicians in the audience watching this illusion-Do they see the illusion, or do they see the device that made the illusion? Probably they see a little of both. ”

- Chuck Close

“ I don't do commissioned portraits and I don't paint college presidents. I can't imagine what kind of ego it would take to want to have a 9-foot-high picture of yourself. ”

- Chuck Close

“ If you think about the way a composer would go in a room and score, let's say, the oboe's gonna play this note, the bassoon's gonna play that note, the french horn will play that note, the resultant sound, the combination of those notes makes kind of a chord, and I'm doing the same thing with color. ”

- Chuck Close

“ The city continues to be a magnet for the best and the brightest that come here from all over the country and all over the world. It's a very vital exciting community. The art world gobbles up people and spits them out the other end and keeps chugging along. ”

- Chuck Close

“ All the fingerprint paintings are done without a grid. ”

- Chuck Close

“ 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. ”

- Chuck Close

“ I mean, if you think about a writer, you're going to write a novel that takes several months, but there's never a time you're doing anything more than shoving one word up against the next. And clusters of those words make sentences and paragraphs and a chapter… ”

- Chuck Close

“ Vermeer was painting light. And so when you walk into a room where the other Dutch painters are, his paintings just sing. And they're an entirely different experience. And I'm sure it's because he was using a camera obscura and he was in fact looking at light while he was painting rather than looking at stuff. ”

- Chuck Close

“ Sometimes I really want to paint somebody and I don't get a photograph that I want to work from. ”

- Chuck Close

“ I don't do commissioned portraits and I don't paint college presidents. I can't imagine what kind of ego it would take to want to have a 9-foot-high picture of yourself. ”

- Chuck Close

“ I wasn't athletic, I couldn't catch a ball, I couldn't throw a ball, I had all kinds of physical limitations as well. So this was it. ”

- Chuck Close

“ The city continues to be a magnet for the best and the brightest that come here from all over the country and all over the world. It's a very vital exciting community. The art world gobbles up people and spits them out the other end and keeps chugging along. ”

- Chuck Close

“ I was living in Rome for a couple of months, a few years ago. In fact, I had sort of made a pilgrimage to Ravenna to see the Byzantine mosaics, and I was disappointed. It was so far away, so high up in the air that you couldn't see the individual tesserae… ”

- Chuck Close

“ 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. ”

- Chuck Close

“ If you think about the way a composer would go in a room and score, let's say, the oboe's gonna play this note, the bassoon's gonna play that note, the french horn will play that note, the resultant sound, the combination of those notes makes kind of a chord, and I'm doing the same thing with color. ”

- Chuck Close

“ I tried to, with a series of self-imposed limitations, back myself into my own personal corner where nobody else's answers would fit. I've always thought that problem-solving is highly overrated and that problem creation is far more interesting. ”

- Chuck Close

“ 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. ”

- Chuck Close

“ 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. ”

- Chuck Close

“ 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. ”

- Chuck Close

“ At the same time that I'm finding the color world I want, I'm also trying to make the imagery, you know, by the nature of the strokes themselves. ”

- Chuck Close

“ All the fingerprint paintings are done without a grid. ”

- Chuck Close

“ It's been very gratifying to have people tell me that my work has meaning for them. And you don't really always know that, because you have this sort of ritual dance you do in the studio and the painting is a sort of frozen record, the evidence that the ritual took place… ”

- Chuck Close

“ I was living in Rome for a couple of months, a few years ago. In fact, I had sort of made a pilgrimage to Ravenna to see the Byzantine mosaics, and I was disappointed. It was so far away, so high up in the air that you couldn't see the individual tesserae… ”

- Chuck Close
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