At MoMA/New York City May 2010 – Large Mark Pastel (1978) by Chuck Close

I came across this BBC Imagine interview with Chuck Close.
Known to me as one of the art world’s most known and respected portrait painters…
[He doesn't even do commissioned portraits, only images of people that matter to him.]

I discovered, ironically that he can’t actually recognize or remember faces.
- a condition called ‘face blindness

[Link valid until 2nd August only] Chuck Close from 09:09s.
BBC iPlayer archive: [The Man Who Forgot How to Read and Other Stories]



Presenter Alan Yentob meets clinical neurologist and author Dr Oliver Sacks to investigate the myriad ways we experience the visual world and the strange things that can happen when our mind fails to understand what our eyes see. In the course of this investigation, Yentob tells the life story of Dr Oliver Sacks, the man who would become one of the world’s most famous scientists.
Alan delves into this world by going to meet several of the case studies from Sacks latest book, The Mind’s Eye.
He meets Stereo Sue, neurobiologist Sue Barry, who always saw the world as a flat 2D image until she suddenly acquired stereoscopic 3D vision in her late forties; Canadian crime writer Howard Engel, the man who forgot how to read, who remarkably continues to write despite a stroke that destroyed his reading ability; Chuck Close, the renowned portrait artist, who cannot recognise or remember faces and Danny Delcambre, an extraordinary and spirited man who, although having a condition which means he was born deaf and is gradually going blind, lives life to the full and uses close-up photography to record the world around him.
Often overlapping with these case studies is Sacks’ own story. Here, doctor and patient combine as he talks about his childhood, his own struggle with face blindness, and the loss he felt when eye cancer recently destroyed his 3D vision.


I have an interest. My own research paper touched upon photography/art, passion and OCPD.
The more research I have come across since, regarding other ‘disabilities’ or conditions like dyslexia, depression, synesthesia, bi-polarity, type A personality disorders etc. It does seem more and more than often is the case throughout history; these set-backs have triggered artist – development ;their work developing organically as coping/over-compensating strategies. Personally, I am very aware of this as I initially purposely developed my artistic skill/knowledge as response to physical setbacks/ distance – inability to express emotions adequately (unrequited love).

Would my artistic/creative side have broken out in some other form eventually?
Or was I always an ‘artist’, simply suppressed by cultural/societal convention and conditioning? Nature vs. Nurture

Does it matter!

Good question.



Related links:
[ Chuck Close - Process and Collaboration ]
[ Dr. Oliver Sacks ]
[ Danny Delcambre Flickr ]