PRINT January 1970

An Interview With Chuck Close

WHY DID YOU DECIDE to make photographic rather than life studies the subjects of your paintings?

The decision evolved partly out of a problem I had with making a painting about how my eyes focused on a still life. When I focused on the pitcher in the foreground, it was sharp. Then when I looked at the drapery behind the pitcher it was in sharp focus too. No matter where I looked all parts of the still life seemed to have equal focus. Now I knew this phenomenon was not true of natural vision since peripheral vision is always blurred. Suddenly it occurred to me that if I was really interested in the problem of focus, the best thing was to work from a photograph where all the information was nailed down and I could focus on blurred as well as sharp information.

What made you choose photographs of heads?

First of all, let me tell you the reasons that are not behind my decisions. I am not trying

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