Chuck Close Essay

Submitted By rchughes2245
Words: 1259
Pages: 6

Chuck Close was born on July 5, 1940, in Monroe, Washington. Close took his place on top of the American art world by crafting large-scale, photo-realist portraits. His large-scale, black-and-white heads, paintings based on photographs are created through a process called daguerreotype. This technique of printmaking can create a realistic photographic looking piece. The popularity of the daguerreotype declined in the late 1850s when the ambrotype, a quicker and less expensive photographic process, became available. However, a few contemporary artists are reviving this old fashioned technique. Daguerreotype can be a complex process that requires great care. It is a direct-positive process that creates a highly detailed image on a sheet of copper plate with a thin coat of silver without the use of a negative. The silver-plated copper plate is first polished and cleaned to create a mirror like surface. Next, the plate is sensitized in a closed box over iodine until it looks yellow. The plate, held in a lightproof container, was then moved to the camera. After exposure to light, the plate was developed over hot mercury until an image appeared. To fix the image, the plate was dipped in a solution of sodium thiosulfate or salt and then toned with gold chloride. Reinventing the past is nothing new for Mr. Close because he has brought back a technique that fell out nearly a century and a half ago. Mr. Close who sees its special qualities untapped possibilities of expression because of its holographic representation has made an exhibit of portraits of his friends (also artists) and self-portraits. The piece I picked is of James Siena, a good friend of Chuck. This piece was made in 2006 in collaboration with David Adamson Editions. The image is approximately 3x3’on some type of paper and is a good example of an idealistic portrait. I was fascinated by the clarity and detail of this daguerreotype, because nothing gets lost. Even though this piece is not big in comparison to some of the other works it really caught my eye because of the mug shot look of James Sienna’s face. I was able to abstract a lot of information from this piece through the expression of the poems and his face. The focus of the print makes you look right into his eyes, which are large and dark. The wrinkles between his eyes then take me up to his forehead, which is brightly lit and somewhat large. Surrounding the forehead is his wild hair, which can be construed as being chaotic and out of place. The black background really makes his face pop out at you, which also is an attention grabber.
Most of the five principles of design are shown in this print. The first principle, balance, also known as visual equilibrium, can be seen through his hair and eyes. His hair is standing up on all sides of his head, which create some symmetry at the top of the piece. Then his eyes create good balance in the center of the print because they are very similar in weight and size, and the direction of the eyes makes them unified. The second principle is proportion., which Proportion refers to the relative size and scale of the various elements in a design. Everything seems pretty proportionate however; the eyes really grab your attention because of there size. The third principle is rhythm. Rhythm can be described as timed movement through space; an easy, connected path along which the eye follows a regular arrangement of motifs. The presence of rhythm creates predictability and order in a composition. Rhythm in this print is not as well represented as other elements because there is no progressive or alternating rhythm and legato or staccato rhythm. However rhythm can be seen in his hair it has a nice pattern to it. The fourth element is emphasis, also referred to as point of focus, is the best-demonstrated element in this work of art. The way Mr. Close focused on the center of the face helped make emphasis on just the face. Also the value of the piece creates a lot of emphasis due