Art: Close, Closer, Closest

In New York, a show that helps redefine the limits of portraiture

They are not, in any sense, portraits of Beautiful People. Every wrinkle, bulge and sag in their flesh is colossally magnified: a face 9 ft. high is no longer a face but a wall of imperfections that mock the convention of "good looks." The face is always seen head on, like a mug shot or a passport photo; yet it is blown up to the size of some staring mosaic Pantocrator on a Byzantine a pse. These are, of course, the portraits by Chuck Close—familiar...

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