Painter’s Progress



There does not seem to be a weak link in this chain: From Scratch consistently delivers. Earlier samplings were, with few exceptions, mostly interviewees who we know about and admire at the intersection of conservation and commerce.  Chuck Close, pictured to the right in a self-portrait from 1994, is another exception in terms of theme. But like his paintings, his role as entrepreneur is a matter of perspective: seen from one distance, then like any great entrepreneur he combines determination with creativity to do what he must do, even in the face of adversity most of us cannot even imagine.  From another distance, his distaste from the commercial dimension of his chosen calling appears anti-entrepreneurial (but of course this is why he is among the most celebrated living artists). He is a mirror opposite of all the things we find distasteful and dreadful about the so-called “art world.”  Click the artist’s image to go to the interview:

When we see a painting hanging on the hallowed walls of a museum, we get a sense of an artist’s technique and imagination, but we don’t get a sense of the process and hurdles that artist faced on the way to critical acclaim. What goes on behind the scenes, or behind the canvas? How does a starving artist becoming a financially secure cultural icon?

Jessica speaks with one such artist, Chuck Close. Chuck is considered one of the leading contemporary painters of the 20th and 21st century. His works hang in New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney, the Walker Museum in Minneapolis, and the National Gallery in Washington DC, just to name a few.

Many of us are familiar with his work, but this show makes us more familiar with his life, as he tells us how he built a successful art career, from scratch.

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