Chuck Close, in conversation, describes his working process. His interviewer is a particularly excellent interviewer and art commentator (and Artistic Director of the Royal Academy of Arts) – the knowledgeable and always watchable Tim Marlow.
Chuck is known for his immense scale portraits, his work has sold internationally for decades. Mid-career, he suffered a sudden catastrophic paralyzing physical event – but continues to work from his wheelchair, very successfully, in his seventies.
“Virtually everything I’ve done has been driven by my learning disabilities.”
This is a quote from a note to his younger self, in a 5 minute CBS special video.
- “Inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us just show up and get to work”
- “Every great idea I’ve ever had, grew out of work itself”
- “Sign on to a process and see where it takes you”
- “No one gets anywhere without help. Mentors – including your parents – can make you feel special even when you are failing in other areas. Everyone needs to feel special”
- “The absolute worst thing in life can happen and you will get over it, you will be happy again….”
- “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”
- “If you’re overwhelmed by the size of a problem, break it down into bite-sized pieces.”
- “There is always someone worse off than you”