Close_425

Here’s a collection of my favorite quotes by artist Chuck Close.

“I don’t work with inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs. I just get to work.” – 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

“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.” ― 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’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

“I was never one of those people who had to have a perfect situation to paint in. I can make art anywhere, anytime — it doesn’t matter. I mean, I know so many artists for whom having the perfect space is somehow essential. They spend years designing, building, outfitting the perfect space, and then when it is just about time to get to work they’ll sell that place and build another one. It seems more often than not a way to keep from having to work. But I could paint anywhere. I made big paintings in the tiniest bedrooms, garages, you name it. you know, once I have my back to the room, I could be anywhere.” – Chuck Close

“On a typical country day I am painting by nine, and I usually work until noon. Three hours in the morning. I will have lunch either at my desk, or if it’s nice I will go to the pool. Of if it’s really nice I will go to the beach for an hour. Have lunch on the beach perhaps, and then I come back and I paint from one to four, another three hours, and about then the light is failing, and I am beginning to fuck up. So then my nurse usually comes at four, and I stop working, clean up, have a big drink, and that’s a typical day. I work every day out there, every single day.” – Chuck Close

“Every idea occurs while you are working. If you are sitting around waiting for inspiration, you could sit there forever.” ― Chuck Close

“All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.” – Chuck Close

“Far more interesting than problem solving is problem creation.” ― Chuck Close

“See, I think our whole society is much too problem-solving oriented. It is far more interesting to [participate in] ‘problem creation’ … You know, ask yourself an interesting enough question and your attempt to find a tailor-made solution to that question will push you to a place where, pretty soon, you’ll find yourself all by your lonesome — which I think is a more interesting place to be.” – Chuck Close

“Get yourself in trouble. If you get yourself in trouble, you don’t have the answers. And if you don’t have the answers, your solution will more likely be personal because no one else’s solutions will seem appropriate. You’ll have to come up with your own.” ― Chuck Close

“Never let anyone define what you are capable of by using parameters that don’t apply to you.” – Chuck Close

“If it looks like art, chances are it’s somebody else’s art.” – Chuck Close

“I am going for a level of perfection that is only mine… Most of the pleasure is in getting the last little piece perfect.” – 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

“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

“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

“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

“Sometimes I really want to paint somebody and I don’t get a photograph that I want to work from.” – 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

“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 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

“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’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

“Painting is the frozen evidence of a performance.” – 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

“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

“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 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

“It’s always a pleasure to talk about someone else’s work.” – Chuck Close

“In my art, I deconstruct and then I reconstruct, so visual perception is one of my primary interests.” – Chuck Close

“I build a painting by putting little marks together – some look like hot dogs, some like doughnuts.” – 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

“I can’t always reach the image in my mind… almost never, in fact… so that the abstract image I create is not quite there, but it gets to the point where I can leave it.” – Chuck Close

“There’s something Zen-like about the way I work – it’s like raking gravel in a Zen Buddhist garden.” – 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

“Ease is the enemy of the artist. When things get too easy, you’re in trouble.” – 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

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

“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

“In life you can be dealt a winning hand of cards and you can find a way to lose, and you can be dealt a losing hand and find a way to win. True in art and true in life: you pretty much make your own destiny. If you are by nature an optimistic person, which I am, that puts you in a better position to be lucky in life.” ― Chuck Close

“Like any corporation, I have the benefit of the brainpower of everyone who is working for me. It all ends up being my work, the corporate me, but everyone extends ideas and comes up with suggestions.” – 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

“Art saved my life” ― Chuck Close

Find the book Chuck Close Photographer here.

Explore The Essential Collection of Quotes By Photographers here.

View The Essential Collection Of Photographers Documentaries here.

 

 


Subscribe

Get the RSS Feed  

Subscribe by Email