Born in Washington, Chuck Close received both his BFA and MFA from Yale University's School of Art and Architecture. He earned a Fulbright Grant to study in Vienna, Austria and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. He was also awarded the National Medal of Arts and the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award for Magazine Photography from Life Magazine. He lives and works in New York City.
Close's subjects are his family, his friends, himself, and fellow artists whose faces are described through his distinct, meticulous marks. Working from a gridded photograph, he builds his images by applying one careful stroke after another in multi-colors or grayscale. His works are generally larger than life and highly focused. For Close, it is the process of description that renders meaning, rather than the subject itself.