Filters, freedom and artistic integrity

Chuck Close responds to his critic and fan, which is itself a response to My Chuck Close problem. We must admit, our sympathies lie with Close. Scott Blake’s ‘Chuck Close Filter’ is clever stuff, for sure, but his principal argument is that a) Close is rich and shouldn’t care about what he does and b) that his filter somehow democratises Close’s ‘signature style’. In quotes: ‘Close is known to be very adamant about not accepting portrait commissions, so if you are not lucky enough to be one of his chosen sitters, you will never get to see your face immortalized in his signature style. I simply wanted to make his art accessible to the masses in a new and exciting way.’


Likewise, if you can’t afford the £25,000 fee Julian Opie charges to sit for a portrait (presumably to help fund his very slick website) you can either buy someone else’s picture in his shop or make your own. Likewise with Warhol. Or Kruger. Etc. etc. The internet is awash with Chuck Close knock-offs, just as there are plenty of chancers out there who will produce a generic Opie-esque canvas portrait for a small fee. The bottom line is that while these gestures might be ‘democratising’, they’re also desperately unoriginal and in rather poor taste. The above image is from an exhibition of Close’s work at the White Cube Gallery.


Other things. The Sound of Zaha Hadid. Could be way darker. If only Christian Fennesz had been involved / Onion-esque headline from the BBC: Staying dry in rain: run or walk? / VHYB La Ville Hybride, a weblog about design and installations / Anyone can clear music, on the hurdles faced by documentary makers.

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