A portrait in progress
Chuck Close, an astounding portrait of one of the world's leading contemporary painters, was one of two parting gifts from the late filmmaker Marion Cajori, the second being Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, The Mistress and the Tangerine.
With editing completed by filmmaker Ken Kobland, Chuck Close limns the life and work of a man who has reinvented portraiture and triumphed in the face of adversity. When a debilitating spinal artery occlusion left him paralysed in the 1980s, Close had to rethink his precisely photorealist technique: now, with the help of an assistant, and using an elaborate system of pullies and levers, Close has continued to paint in spite of his handicap. Chuck Close allows the artist to illuminate his methodology, but also features his friends and colleagues (Brice Marden, Robert Storr, Dorothea Rockburne, Philip Glass, Arne Glimcher, Kiki Smith, Elizabeth Murray, Alex Katz, Kirk Varnedoe, among others), who make important contributions to appreciating Close's gifts.