Human Interest

Solo en Inglès

This audio guide highlights selected works in Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney’s Collection, with commentary by students from PS 33 Chelsea Prep and Whitney Museum educator Melanie Adsit.

Chuck Close, _Lyle_, 1999. Oil on canvas, 102 1/16 x 84 1/8 x 3 1/16 in. (259.2 x 213.7 x 7.8 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Gift of The American Contemporary Art Foundation, Inc., Leonard A. Lauder, President 2002.220 © Chuck Close

Narrator: In this piece Chuck Close painted a portrait of the artist Lyle Ashton Harris. Look closely and examine the artist’s unusual technique. Close created a diagonal grid in which each diamond shape contains its own tiny, brushy painting. From close up the work seems abstract, as if the artist is concentrating on experiments with different colors and brushstrokes. But take a step back—just watch where you’re going as you do! From further away, all of those small individual abstract paintings join together to make a face.

The artist has purposefully chosen a technique that offers viewers two very different experiences. By giving us such a different view close up versus far away, maybe he is asking us to get to know his painting as well we would get to know a person. 

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