Sunday, April 28, 2013

Chuck Close Face Book-Chuck Close

As a big fan of Chuck Close, I was tremendously excited that his children's book was up for grabs to review. Similar to what I envisioned, this book was truly enjoyable and informative. Face Book chronicles Chuck's life as a child and is not shy in its descriptions of the hardships he faced as a young boy. Chuck had a very difficult time in school in terms of learning how to read and also perform basic math tasks. He also was born with a condition called prosopagnosia or "face blindness". This means that he had a hard time recognizing people and remembering their faces. Thus, it makes sense that as an artist he is so inspired and driven to create large scale portraits of himself as well as others. Despite all of the limitations in his childhood, he was always very artistic-a trait his parents encouraged him to explore. The book contains a very in depth timeline of his life, making specific milestones easily accessible to a young reader. One of my favorite features of this book is how interactive it is. A portion of the book is devoted to the perforation of some of his most famous portraits into flaps of three. These flaps can then be used to create an entirely new portrait based on whatever the reader chooses to mix and match. If I found this to be entertaining as a 23-year old, I cannot imagine the amount of fun a younger reader would have with this creative capability. Besides the timeline and mix and match section, the book contains actual questions that 5th graders have asked Close about his art, life, and process. All of these questions are answered with honest elegance in a kind, non-pretentious fashion that would surely grip the imagination of a child. I think this book is a really amazing and fun learning tool for anyone interested in Close's work or the general process of an artist. I would highly recommend this book to readers of any age. It is informative, fun, and beautiful to look at.
In the video above, Chuck Close describes why he so adamantly chooses to paint portraits. I found myself pouring over videos of him after reading his book; he just seems so kind and goodhearted. 

1 comment:

maria rendon said...

I never heard of this book, but it sounds very interesting. From reading your blog, I could tell that it can be an inspiring book for all ages, especially for younger readers because they often have fears, and concerns.