Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Further on this whole Chuck Close business

Like I said, I'm with the guy.  Love his stuff.  Etcetera.  Hell, I've even painted the guy ...


A rethinking of one of his better-known self-portraits.  My homage to Close's grid can be seen in the red dots that mark the one-foot squares I used when painting the thing.  Can you see them?

But perhaps there's a bit of luxury in being as process-oriented as Close is.  Although it's a crass oversimplification, you could say that his problems arise and are solved in descrete two-inch squares.

Me?  I only paint one painting at a time.  I've tried doing several at once, but it bugs me.  And my problems, when they arise, do so in huge chunks, not little squares.  And I think there's a lot to be gained by not working on the damned thing.  And in the interest of productivity, I can't just turn and work on something else because there isn't anything else.  And I don't think that standing in the middle of the studio glaring at the thing is in any way shirking my responsibilities.

A bit defensive, no?
Perhaps.
Maybe it's the whole nap thing.  You seem to like them; Close not so much.
Perhaps.
A man can't help but appear a bit slovenly, reclined upon the couch, eyes closed, a bit of drizzle coming out of the corner of the mouth, Massive Attack gently swaying in the sonic distance...
Maybe I'm taking it all a bit to personally.
Maybe.

Anyway, that whole God-helps-those-who-help-themselves business (which is the obvious extension of what we're talking about here) is a bunch of hooey.  Made up, as near as I can tell, by some company like Hill & Knowlton in support of the Protestant Work Ethic.

Hell, even the most cursory glance at the Bible tells you that God helps those who can't help themselves.  The folks who can are pretty much left to their own devices.

Thank God you're not a Protestant.
Exactly.

James Thurber's greatest contribution to society is the line that goes "Sometimes the hardest part of my job is convincing my wife that staring out the window is an important part of it."

Amen, brother.
The hardest part of my job is convincing Chuck Close that just staring at my painting and listening to music is an important part of it.
Do you think he gives a damn?
Naaaah.

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