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A collection of quotes and thoughts by Chuck Close on artist, painting, dreams, work, inspiration, ethics, diligence, portraits, failures and winning.

61 Thought-Provoking Quotes By Chuck Close That Will Foster New Gusto

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Chuck Close is an American painter respected for his photorealist portraits. All through his career, he has repeatedly proved to be versatile. He never sticks to one technique of painting and keeps on inventing new ways. His airbrush technique was so unique that it inspired the development of the present day ink jet printer. He started off by re-creating Polaroid of women on large canvases. He was soon popular among the masses and he painted the portrait of some of the most famous personalities including former President Bill Clinton. His portrait of composer Philip Glass continues to be the most notable work of his career. This abstract painter suffers from a neurological disorder called face blindness, which prevents him from recognizing faces. The inspiring thing is that this medical condition couldn’t stop him from drawing perfect portraits of faces. His career has witnessed various wall-size tapestry portraits which have proved his mettle as an artist. A spinal artery collapse in 1988 that left him critically paralyzed could not deter his passion for painting and till date he expresses his thoughts through his work, life and paintings which are sought after by collectors and museums. Let is browse through inspiring thoughts and quotes by Chuck Close which will incite you about life.

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

- 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

I'm very interested in how we read things, especially the link between seeing two-dimensional and three-dimensional images, because of how I read.

- Chuck Close

All the fingerprint paintings are done without a grid.

- Chuck Close

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.

- Chuck Close

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.

- Chuck Close

Never let anyone define what you are capable of by using parameters that don't apply to you.

- Chuck Close

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.

- Chuck Close

Inspiration is highly overrated. If you sit around and wait for the clouds to part, it's not liable to ever happen. More often than not, work is salvation.

- Chuck Close

A face is a road map of someone's life. Without any need to amplify that or draw attention to it, there's a great deal that's communicated about who this person is and what their life experiences have been.

- Chuck Close

Inspiration is for amateurs. I just get to work.

- Chuck Close

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.

- Chuck Close

I don't work with inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs. I just get to work.

- Chuck Close

I'm plagued with indecision in my life. I can't figure out what to order in a restaurant.

- Chuck Close

Every child should have a chance to feel special.

- Chuck Close

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.

- Chuck Close

Far more interesting than problem solving is problem creation.

- 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

Art saved my life

- Chuck Close

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.

- Chuck Close

Every idea occurs while you are working. If you are sitting around waiting for inspiration, you could sit there forever.

- Chuck Close: Face Book, Chuck Close

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.

- Chuck Close

Painting is the frozen evidence of a performance.

- Chuck Close

There's something Zen-like about the way I work - it's like raking gravel in a Zen Buddhist garden.

- 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

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.

- Chuck Close

I think I was driven to paint portraits to commit images of friends and family to memory. I have face blindness, and once a face is flattened out, I can remember it better.

- Chuck Close

I think women realise that I love women, and very often women seem to love me.

- Chuck Close

No one was more surprised than me when my paintings started selling, except maybe my dealer.

- Chuck Close

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

- Chuck Close

Women in general interest me. I like how women are more liable to talk about real things, personal things.

- Chuck Close

I only have so much time and energy and money, and I'm going to put it into my work.

- Chuck Close

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.

- Chuck Close

Of all the artists who emerged in the '80s, I think perhaps Cindy Sherman is the most important.

- Chuck Close

I'm poor white trash from the state of Washington.

- Chuck Close

Any artist who goes to Las Vegas is an idiot as far as I am concerned. Whoever goes to Las Vegas can stay in Las Vegas.

- Chuck Close

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.

- Chuck Close

In my art, I deconstruct and then I reconstruct, so visual perception is one of my primary interests.

- Chuck Close

The first thing I do is take Polaroids of the sitter - 10 or 12 color Polaroids and eight or 10 black-and whites.

- Chuck Close

Painting is a lie. It's the most magic of all media, the most transcendent. It makes space where there is no space.

- Chuck Close

Losing my father at a tender age was extremely important in being able to accept what happened to me later when I became a quadriplegic.

- Chuck Close

I think the problem with the arts in America is how unimportant it seems to be in our educational system.

- Chuck Close

The reason I don't like realist, photorealist, neorealist, or whatever, is that I am as interested in the artificial as I am in the real.

- Chuck Close

I have a great deal of difficulty recognizing faces, especially if I haven't - if I've just met somebody, it's hopeless.

- Chuck Close

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.

- 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'm very learning-disabled, and I think it drove me to what I'm doing.

- Chuck Close

It's always a pleasure to talk about someone else's work.

- Chuck Close

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.

- Chuck Close

I think most paintings are a record of the decisions that the artist made. I just perhaps make them a little clearer than some people have.

- Chuck Close

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?

- Chuck Close

I don't care about the Guggenheim. The Guggenheim isn't involved in anything that I am interested in. I don't care about motorcycles and Armani suits.

- Chuck Close

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.

- Chuck Close

Ease is the enemy of the artist. When things get too easy, you're in trouble.

- Chuck Close

Sculpture occupies real space like we do... you walk around it and relate to it almost as another person or another object.

- Chuck Close

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.

- Chuck Close

I knew from the age of five what I wanted to do. The one thing I could do was draw. I couldn't draw that much better than some of the other kids, but I cared more and I wanted it badly.

- Chuck Close

The worst possible thing in the world can happen to you, and you will overcome it. You will be happy again.

- Chuck Close

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.

- Chuck Close

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.

- Chuck Close

I did some pastels and I did other pieces in which there was just basically one color per square, and then they would get bigger and I could get 2 or 3 colors into the square, and ultimately I just started making oil paintings.

- Chuck Close