So I asked Steve if he wanted to go down with us and see the Chuck Close exhibit at the Corcoran. “No thanks, ” he replied, “I already know what he looks like.”
And while it is an interesting show from the point of process, at the end of the day that was all I was left with; the incredible varied processes used on about three different images. For Chuck Close, the opening wall text read, “The print is everything.”
There is a belief I have noticed among the best of the young, that a good picture is a good picture, no matter how it is reproduced. A belief I completely agree with.
For me, I empathize with both a bit. Seeing the same image in I don’t know how many different complex incarnations leaves me a bit cold, but when I am looking at a gallery wall, I do want that print to be the best it can be (though this is also subjective) – but I want content to be there as well. But process just on it’s own lacks heart. Excellent craftsmanship without soul just as bad as concept without content in my book.
Parting anecdote: so my friend Jenna trips over a man in a wheelchair at Union Station. Turning to apologize she recognizes the visage of one Chuck Close. “Sorry!,” she says, blurting, “Your famous!”
“I know,” he says, rolling off into the sunset (or at least Gate E to NYC).