Keith/Random Fingerprint Version, 1979
stamp-pad ink and pencil on paper, 29 3/4 x 22 1/4"
Museum Purchase with funds provided by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and R. J. Reynolds Industries, Inc.
image © Chuck Close, Courtesy Pace Wildenstein, New York
Chuck Close is known for his large-scale portraits, executed with unusual techniques and media. He often used friends and family members as his subjects. This drawing, one in a series of six, depicts Keith Hollingworth, a sculptor who taught with Close at the University of Massachusetts in the late 1960s. With this series of drawings, Close experimented with various ways of representing his subject. He composed the images with a mass of small dots or marks, almost like hand-made pixels. Although Close was certainly interested in exploring Keith's identity through the series, he inserted his own presence into the images as well: this piece is composed of the artist's own fingerprints.