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  • Chuck Close - A Portrait in Progress
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Chuck Close - A Portrait in Progress


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Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Rauschenberg, Philip Glass, Kiki Smith, Alex Katz, Jasper Johns
  • Directors: Marion Cajori
  • Format: Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Homevision
  • DVD Release Date: December 16, 2003
  • Run Time: 57 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000E1WLC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #395,739 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Since 1969, when Chuck Close's first series of black-and-white portraits was exhibited, his paintings have fascinated the public and raised critical controversy. Created from Polaroid photographs, Close's huge close-ups (some as tall as 9 feet) are severe, confrontational, and wholly compelling. Featuring interviews with Close, Chuck Close: A Portrait in Progress traces the artist's evolution. Close, who paints in the pointillist style, spends months on one painting. Today, his "mug shots" brim with warm colors. Dubbed the "mayor of Soho," he specializes in portraits of fellow artists, such as Jasper Johns who is interviewed in this program. The affable Close appears throughout, discussing his childhood learning disabilities and how, despite the 1989 illness that left him nearly completely paralyzed, he continues to triumph artistically.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By B. Chavez on May 12, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
As a high school art teacher, I really appreciate a well-made, engaging art video. This is one that kept my students' attention from beginning to end. One of the best things about this video is that the viewer gets to see Chuck Close in his studio painting and talking about art-making. He is shown working on one of his huge self-portraits from its beginning, when he chooses the large-scale photo reference and lays out a grid on a canvas, through the painting's completion. What a great opportunity to see inside the life of one of our most talented and admired modern artists! I highly recommend this video.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By sandy on May 12, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
I bought this video because I wanted my high school students to gain some inspiration and motivation before we embarked on our own self-portraits using the grid method. I read other reviews that claimed the video had students engaged from start to finish. Well, something must be wrong with my students because I showed it in two different periods and in both classes I had more than half the students falling asleep or putting their heads down!! Those that paid attention stayed awake by doodling or doing homework. Maybe it was my fault by not assigning notes or a worksheet on the video but I wanted my students to just relax and watch some good art in the process. They relaxed, alright!
I enjoyed watching the video but I found the sound to be distracting because you hear so much of the background that I had to strain to listen to the dialogue. The video is also a bit slow-paced but that may be due to how we are conditioned by today's media that uses snippets of video and audio in a fast-paced editing format (and our decreasing attention-span).
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 15, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
You get to watch him paint, hear him talk about his work, and listen to what other arist think about his heads. This video is a wonderful retrospective of Chuck Close's grand body of work. You see him work on his mosy recent self-potrait from start to finish. Interviews with Alex Katz, Philip Glass, and Chuck Close's wife Leslie take you deep into Close's art. It does get a little sappy when talking about his "event" and also his father's death, but that's just a personal thing. A great addition to any artist's bookshelf.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 20, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
this is a fantastic video. I use it regularly for teaching. It gives a wonderful & sophisticated view of Chuck Close as an individual and an artist, as well as a glimpse of the other artist's work who are interviewed in the video. It is filmed in a very immediate and personal style. There is nothing stiff, boring, or disconnected about it, common faults of many art videos. Anyone who has experienced something similar in their family will find the discussion of Chuck's "event" very moving, and not at all sappy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sharon K. Barrett on January 6, 2006
Format: DVD
I'm an artist and art teacher, and each year I read the book, "Chuck Close Up Close" to my high school Art I students and follow up by showing this movie. As another teacher pointed out, some parts simply move too slowly, and I've gotten around this by doing some fast-forwarding. (This also allows time for discussion in our 50-minute class periods.)

Still, I consider "A Portrait in Progress" a good introduction to the whole artistic process, and the kids have a window into the life of a contemporary artist and better understand how they'll be approaching their own self-portrait work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 20, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
this is a fantastic video. I use it regularly for teaching. It gives a wonderful & sophisticated view of chuck close as an individual and an artist, as well as a glimpse of the other artist's work who are interviewed in the video. It is filmed in a very immediate and personal style. There is nothing stiff, boring, or disconnected about it, common faults of many art videos. Anyone who has experienced a similar tragedy in their family will find the discussion of chuck's "event" very moving, and not at all sappy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 1, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I bought this video to show an 8th grade class. However, the artist swears a couple times and there are numerous depictions of artistic nudity. Be warned if you are a teacher and don't want students running home to tell their parents what they saw in school. It would probably be ok in high school, but no younger. It is pretty interesting, but does get dry and slow at times.
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By E. Karasik on June 14, 2007
Format: DVD
This is a refreshing documentary. The camera dwells at great length on the sheer beauty of the paints as the artist applies them, while the artist, his wife, and various colleagues discuss the ideas underlying his work. The rest of the narrative is well nourished with interesting imagery from the artist's life and the work of the other artists whose portraits he has painted. The editing was excellent -- the amount of information was satisfying but not overwhelming. The film provides an excellent overview of an intriguing artist who has overcome astonishing obstacles in the pursuit of his vision.
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