Chuck Close: Face Book

Overview


This fascinating, interactive autobiography presents Chuck Close’s story, his art, and a discussion of the many processes he uses in the studio. The question-and-answer format is based on real kids’ inquiries about Close’s life and work, and his answers to them. Close, who is wheelchair-bound and paints with a brush strapped to his arm, discusses the severe dyslexia and face blindness he has struggled with since childhood, as well as a collapsed spinal artery that left him ...
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Overview


This fascinating, interactive autobiography presents Chuck Close’s story, his art, and a discussion of the many processes he uses in the studio. The question-and-answer format is based on real kids’ inquiries about Close’s life and work, and his answers to them. Close, who is wheelchair-bound and paints with a brush strapped to his arm, discusses the severe dyslexia and face blindness he has struggled with since childhood, as well as a collapsed spinal artery that left him nearly paralyzed at the age of 48.
An engaging feature of the book is a mix-and-match Chuck Close self-portrait section. This hands-on component encourages the reader to create new and interesting combinations of Close’s techniques and images. The book also includes an illustrated chronology of Close’s life, a list of museums where his work can be seen, and an index.

Praise for Chuck Close: Face Book
STARRED REVIEW
"Art lovers of all ages will revel in this vivid, wonderfully affecting book, which is almost as ingenious and memorable as Close himself."
–Kirkus Reviews, starred review

STARRED REVIEW
"Close describes his work with candor and insight. The high quality printing and lush colors of the reproductions make it easy for readers to share that excitement. A nifty mix-and-match section lets readers compare the methods used in 14 of the artist’s self-portraits."
–Publishers Weekly, starred review

STARRED REVIEW
“Excellent-quality reproductions of his paintings appear throughout. A readable and engaging look at a fascinating artist and his methods of working.”
–School Library Journal, starred review

"Chuck Close’s art and life story are the ideal way to introduce art and artists to children."
–Horn Book

"A winner. Chuck Close's honest, personal memoir about his life and work makes an ideal book for kids who find school challenging, who are creative or who see the world a bit differently from their peers. In other words, this one's for most everyone."
–Shelf Awareness

Awards:
WINNER - 2012 Boston Globe Horn Book Nonfiction Award
New York Public Library’s Children's Books 2012: 100 Books for Reading and Sharing list
Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2012 list: Children's Nonfiction
Capitol Choices 2013 - Noteworthy Titles for Children and Teens
Orbis Pictus Recommended Book 2013
Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) Choices 2013 list - The Arts
2013 ALA/ALSC Notable Book
 

Winner of the 2012 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Nonfiction

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This substantive autobiography concentrates on the evolution of painter Close’s massive portraits. In interview form, with children’s questions written atop the pages (“How do you make your pictures look so real?”), Close describes his work with candor and insight (“Inspiration is for amateurs. Artists just show up and get to work”). He explains how he coped first with a global learning deficit (“I still add and subtract by using the spots on dominos”), then with a collapsed artery in adulthood that left him a quadriplegic (“I had to figure out some way to be able to get back to work and make some money”). Yet it’s clear that he considers these setbacks of little significance compared to the shaping of his identity as an artist and the excitement of creating paintings. The high quality printing and lush colors of the reproductions make it easy for readers to share that excitement. A nifty mix-and-match section lets readers compare the methods used in 14 of the artist’s self-portraits, but Close’s examination of his own work provides more than enough gratification on its own. Ages 8–12. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—Dyslexia, prosopagnosia (the inability to remember faces), and the collapse of a spinal artery that left him paralyzed from the chest down deeply affected Close's life. Here he describes how art helped him triumph over these difficulties. Labeled "dumb" at an early age due to his problem with reading and arithmetic, he was encouraged by his parents and teachers to pursue his interest in and obvious talent for art. The text is arranged by topics of questions asked by children who visited his studio. "Do you work from live models or photographs?" "How do you start a painting?" and "Why do you make so many self-portraits?" lead readers through explanations and examples of Close's art. The center of the book reveals how he uses a grid system of a face and, employing a variety of techniques, including oil paints, airbrush watercolors, etching, and woodcuts, re-creates the same face with a wide diversity of textures, colors, and impact. Excellent-quality reproductions of his paintings appear throughout. A readable and engaging look at a fascinating artist and his methods of working.—Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI
Kirkus Reviews
A magnificent interactive "face book" portrait of the artist. This book grew out of a studio visit/conversation between Close and a dozen Brooklyn fifth graders. Through the kids' simple questions and the artist's forthright answers, readers eavesdrop on the event and witness the ongoing dialogue between an artist and his unforgettable, iconographic work. Close discloses struggles with childhood ill health and severe dyslexia. He tells how his early artistic promise was nurtured by caring parents and teachers and how he adjusted for his prosopagnosia (face blindness) by sketching the faces of his students. He also shares how the steady progress of a rewarding career and warm family life was nearly derailed by his near-total paralysis after the 1998 collapse of a spinal artery. He also discloses the many "hows" of his astonishing technique: how he uses gridded photos to build his faces and how he works from his wheelchair and wields his brush with less-abled hands. Readers witness his discipline and see how he works in a dizzying variety of media. At the book's brilliant center is the irresistible opportunity to "mix 'n' match" various eyes, noses and mouths among 14 of the artist's arresting self-portraits. Art lovers of all ages will revel in this vivid, wonderfully affecting book, which is almost as ingenious and memorable as Close himself. (timeline, glossary, list of resources and illustration credits) (Nonfiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781419701634
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/1/2012
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 134,173
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 900L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Chuck Close is one of the most recognized American artists of our time, known for his large-scale portraits of friends, fellow artists, and himself. Close has painted, drawn, and printed using airbrush bursts, paper pulp, pencil scribbles, thumbprints, and multicolor brushstrokes. He lives and works in New York City.

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