'Big Self-Portrait', a massive 9ft high painting of a head around fifty times life-size, characterizes Chuck Close's early work. It is painted 'with about half a teaspoon of black paint' which is thinned down to the consistency of dirty water and applied with brushes and an airbrush. The mesmerizing details are created by scraping with razor blades to depict the sharper areas of definition and rubbing with an eraser attached to an electric drill for the softer blends of tone.
The large scale of this portrait is important as it allows the viewer to interact with the work in different ways. The artist states, "I don't want the viewer to see the whole head at once and assume that that's the most important aspect of my painting". You can read the painting in different ways depending on where you are standing in the room. From a distance it is indistinguishable from a high resolution photograph. Up close it is...
self portraitpaintingacrylic on canvas