Chuck Close and His Perseverance
Charles Thomas "Chuck" Close is an American painter, artist and photographer. He is known for creating massive-scale photorealist portraits. When he was a child, Chuck Close suffered from a neuromuscular condition which made it difficult to lift his feet. He had a kidney condition called nephritis which kept him out of school for most of the sixth grade. Because of his undiagnosed dyslexia, he didn't do well in school. Chuck Close was inspired to create very large photograph based portraits due to prosopagnosia, also called face blindness. It's a cognitive disorder of face perception in which the ability to recognize familiar faces, including one's own face (self-recognition), is impaired. His airbrushed painting techniques and his application of color inspired the development of the inkjet printer. Chuck Close photorealist artworks were embedded in the New York City art scene by the late 1960's. And his works were displayed in the finest art galleries of the world by the 1970's. He was viewed as one of America's best contemporary artists. In the year 1988, Chuck Close suffered a seizure and a sudden rupture of a spinal artery which left him almost completely paralyzed from the neck down. He regained the partial use of his limbs after spending months in rehab strengthening his muscles through physical therapy.
Even with his physical limitations he continued to paint with a brush taped to his wrist, creating large portraits in low-resolution grid squares. His style of artwork became less detailed and more imaginative, but this hasn't hurt his stature or influence in the art world. Chuck Close, his art journey and his life is an inspirational story of perseverance in the face of difficulty and a reminder that even with limitations we have so much more potential and are far more capable than we realize.