Color Quotes by Chuck Close

Chuck Close is an American painter/artist and photographer who achieved fame as a photorealist, through his massive-scale portraits. Although his later paintings differ in method from his earlier canvases, the preliminary process remains the same. The Chuck Close quotes speak to his use of color but viewing one of his canvases up close tells a great deal about how he thinks about and uses color. 


To create his grid work copies of photos, Close puts a grid on the photo and on the canvas and copies cell by cell. Typically, each square within the grid is filled with roughly executed regions of color. (usually consisting of painted rings on a contrasting background) which give the cell a perceived 'average' hue which makes sense from a distance.

Although a catastrophic spinal artery collapse in 1988 left him severely paralyzed, he has continued to paint and produce work that remains sought after by museums and collectors. (Excerpt

Chuck Close Quotes About Color

If you think about the way a composer would go in a room and score, let’s say, the oboe’s gonna play this note, the bassoon’s gonna play that note, the french horn will play that note, the resultant sound, the combination of those notes makes kind of a chord, and I’m doing the same thing with color.

I only use three primaries, so the nice thing is I can’t have favorite colors. - Chuck Close #color #quotes

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At the same time that I’m finding the color world I want, I’m also trying to make the imagery, you know, by the nature of the strokes themselves.

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.

Feature Image Credit: CaroleAN [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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