Chuck Close is a world-renowned artist who paints wall-sized faces and portraits. While much of his work is filled with vibrant colors, his life has had many darker moments.
Growing up in a working-class community in rural Washington State, he suffered from various learning and physical disabilities, including face blindness, medically known as Prosopagnosia. He found refuge in art and eventually graduated from Yale's Graduate School of Art.
Living his dream of being a portrait painter, at 48, Close was left partially paralyzed and bound to a wheelchair after a spinal artery collapsed. After spending almost a year in the hospital recuperating, Close was able to return to making art.
Now Close is the subject of a new biography by Christopher Finch, "Chuck Close: Life." In this video, Close talks about how daily art and music programs in his humble public school made him the artist he is today.
"Especially for those of us who are learning-disabled or for those of us who learn differently, there was never -- we had a chance to feel special. Every child should have a chance to feel special," he says.
"The interesting thing about having a life-changing event is, it was familiar. I had lifelong neuromuscular problems, lifelong learning disabilities. I have had a life with rocks in my shoes." Chuck Close
"Especially for those of us who are learning-disabled or for those of us who learn differently -- we had a chance to feel special. Every child should have a chance to feel special." Chuck Close
"If I hadn't had exposure to art and music and something that I could excel at, and something I could feel good about -- I always said, if I hadn't gone to Yale, I could have gone to jail." Chuck Close
1. What is a learning disability?
2. What is the difference between being a visual learner and an audio learner? What are some other ways we learn?
3. Why are some people more drawn to art or music than others?
1. What type of obstacles did Chuck Close face in his life?
2. What is prosopagnosia?
3. How can you apply Chuck Close's resilience to your own life?