Chuck Close, artist of outsized reality, dies at 81

Chuck Close, artist of outsized reality, dies at 81

Chuck Close, who rose to prominence in the 1970s and ’80s with colossal photorealist portraits of himself, family members and fellow artists, but who late in his career faced accusations of sexual harassment, died Thursday in a hospital in Oceanside, New York. He was 81. His death was announced by his lawyer, John Silberman. At the end of the 1960s, a period when formalist abstraction and pop art dominated the contemporary scene, Close began using an airbrush and diluted black paint to create highly detailed 9-foot-tall grisaille paintings based on mug-shot-like photographs of himself and his friends. His first, and still one of his best known, is a self-portrait in which he stares impassively back at the camera through plastic black-rimmed glasses. He has messy, stringy hair, his
Chuck Close, who rose to prominence in the 1970s and ’80s with colossal photorealist portraits of himself, family members and fellow artists, but who late in his career faced accusations of sexual harassment, died Thursday in a hospital in Oceanside, New York. He was 81. His death was announced by his lawyer, John Silberman. At the end of the 1960s, a period when formalist abstraction and pop art dominated the contemporary scene, Close began using an airbrush and diluted black paint to create highly detailed 9-foot-tall grisaille paintings based on mug-shot-like photographs of himself and his friends. His first, and still one of his best known, is a self-portrait in which he stares impassively back at the camera through plastic black-rimmed glasses. He has messy, stringy hair, his