Julie Burstein was Exec Producer of Public Radio’s Studio 360 hosted by Kurt Andersen before she left to write Spark: How Creativity Works. She and co-author Kurt explore creativity in the interviews they broadcast with artists, writers, filmmakers, musicians and other creative folk. Recently she recorded a short piece for Big Think on how artists embrace their challenges, using as an example the work of artist Chuck Close. It’s definitely worth a listen.
|Chuck Close self-portrait|
Because Chuck Close, famous for his gigantic, super-realistic portraits, is face blind and can’t recognize faces. And while many of us walk away from that which makes us uncomfortable, Chuck walked towards his challenges. That was what inspired him to do his art, and Julie tells the story well.
If you’re interested, there’s a bio of Chuck Close that gets good reviews at Amazon, called Chuck Close Life. And it’s also worth thinking about embracing those challenges that life likes to put in our path. You never know where they may take you.
Oliver Saks has the same face-blind condition and has written a book about the adaptable brain. The other remarkable thing about Close is that he is wheel-chair-bound (after suffering a collapsed blood vessel in his spine in the late 80s). In order to paint, he has to have his paint brush strapped to his hand. He feels this has only opened up more possibilities for his art.