Skip to navigation

Phil II

Close, Chuck

Phil II

handmade paper, ed 11/15

1987 Purchase funded by The Collectors Club

Chuck Close specializes in large portraits using close-up photographs of his friends. "I want to build powerful, aggressive images. Like massive cathedrals, you've got to build them one brick at a time." Philip Glass, an avant-garde minimalist composer, is the subject of twenty different portraits which Close created in various media. This portrait, "Phil II," is comprised of hundreds of squares of handmade paper. Close added pigment to the paper pulp before pressing it through a grid screen. From a distance, the squares blend together to form a realistic portrait simiilar to a huge drawing. Upon closer inspection, the image dissolves into its component squares. The effect is similar to a newspaper picture that, when viewed with a magnifying lens, becomes a variegated mix of black and gray dots.