Close at the Hermitage
American artist Chuck Close has arrived in St. Petersburg for an opening of an exhibition of his works at the Hermitage. The artist, though severely handicapped and confined to a wheelchair 20 years, has continued to paint and travel to his own exhibitions.
The current exhibition at the Hermitage will show a series of portraits Close painted during 2006 and 2007. The portraits depict Close's family members, himself, and even a portrait of former American President Bill Clinton, which Close was commissioned to paint for the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. These huge portraits (at least two metres in height) are painted traditionally but with a twist; while Close paints with oils on canvas, he uses his trademark visual effect, patching together small squares of differently-coloured abstract designs that are arranged to form the complete picture which the viewer sees. The exhibition "Chuck Close: Seven Portraits" will be shown at the Hermitage through the 13th of April.