Friday, December 22, 2017

Is Chuck Close a Sexual Predator?

Speaking of delicate sensibilities. Several women have now accused world renowned artist Chuck Close of asking them to disrobe in order to model in the nude. For those who do not know Close is a 77 year old quadriplegic. You can imagine how threatened these women felt. If you don’t, you need to have your empathy meter readjusted.


The New York Times has the story:

Two women recently told The New York Times that Mr. Close had asked them to model naked for him, requests that made them feel exploited and uncomfortable. And on Tuesday, HuffPost published similar accounts from women, including one who described stripping in front of Mr. Close. HuffPost reported he then moved toward her in his wheelchair “so that his head was inches away from her vagina,” and said it “looks delicious.”

Is Chuck Close a sexual predator?  Were his remarks in good taste, so to speak? Do you think that this woman will every recover? The Times allows Close to defend himself:

In an interview on Wednesday, Mr. Close, 77, denied making this comment but acknowledged that he has spoken to women candidly and even crudely about their body parts. He said he did so in the interests of evaluating them as possible subjects, and he said he apologized if he had made women feel uncomfortable. He said he had brought women to his studio for artistic reasons, and generally paid them to audition for photographs, since he occasionally produces daguerreotype nudes, several of which were featured in a 2014 survey at his gallery, Pace.

Close continued:

“I’m inviting them to my studio to audition. I don’t have a camera there, so I have to see their bodies — it’s a very expensive process,” Mr. Close said. “I’ve never had a complaint in 50 years, not one.”

“Last time I looked, discomfort was not a major offense,” he added. “I never reduced anyone to tears, no one ever ran out of the place. If I embarrassed anyone or made them feel uncomfortable, I am truly sorry, I didn’t mean to. I acknowledge having a dirty mouth, but we’re all adults.”

According to the punctilious and oh-so sanctimonious New York Times, Close had violated an unwritten code of conduct. No one had ever heard of this code of conduct before, but if you are the New York Times, what difference does it make?

Modeling nude for artists is an age-old tradition. But there is an unofficial code of conduct associated with painting someone nude that includes informing models in advance that they would be expected to undress; making sure the subject is comfortable posing unclothed; refraining from commenting on a model’s body; keeping the atmosphere professional and avoiding personal questions.

Seriously, guys. What is wrong with you? Do you really think that Picasso—to take a random example—observed this code of conduct? Do you know anything about Picasso or art history? Perhaps it's time to grow up.

Apparently, Close spoke inappropriately about the women’s naked bodies. If this does not sound like a thought crime, I do not know what does:

According to the women who spoke to The Times and HuffPost, Mr. Close violated this code, making inappropriate comments about their bodies, probing into their private lives and holding out the prospect of their being painted by a venerated artist to lure them to his studio, with what seemed to them no real artistic intent or result.

How are these women or the New York Times to know what the artist’s intentions were? Do you really believe that a quadriplegic artist who makes some comments about a woman’s naked body is therefore not taking them seriously as potential models?

One woman, an artist herself, was seriously disappointed to discover that when Close invited her to his studio to pose, he wanted her to undress. Apparently, she thought that he saw her as a fellow artist. He did not:

Another artist, Delia Brown, told The Times she met Mr. Close at a dinner party in the Hamptons in 2005, and he said he was a fan of her work and asked her to come pose for a portrait in his studio. “I was over the moon excited because having your portrait done as an artist by Chuck Close is tantamount to being canonized,” Ms. Brown said.

She shared the news with a prominent collector of her work, Glenn Fuhrman, who was also present at the dinner, hosted by Mickey Straus, then the longtime chairman of Guild Hall in East Hampton, and his wife, Leila. “He was excited for me,” Ms. Brown said of Mr. Fuhrman.

But when she called Mr. Close the next day, as he’d requested, the artist said she needed to agree to model topless.
“My heart sank,” Ms. Brown said. “I thought, ‘That’s not how he photographs artists.’ I immediately felt a little bit insulted.”

She told Mr. Close she had to think about it and ultimately decided against it. “I came to the conclusion that I was not being photographed as an artist but as a woman,” she said. “I said, ‘I hope I can still come to your studio.’” But when she called a few weeks later to arrange that visit, Ms. Brown said, Mr. Close “acted like he did not know me.”

How about that: he saw her, not as an artist, but as a woman. Could it be that she thought more of her work than she should have? At little too much inflated self-esteem?

Anyway, Brown’s Wikipedia page describes her work in pseudo-intellectual radical leftist terms:

Brown's work is primarily engaged in exploring desire as an individuated experience that connects the personal to the collective unconscious, often mediated through advertising and commercial culture. Referencing early bourgeois painting genres, she paints herself and friends enacting their own fantasies of being part of the leisure class, with props from snacks and beverages to million-dollar artworks functioning as important accessories in the assumption of privilege.

You decide:

 


13 comments:

trigger warning said...

If you ask me, Close is guilty of Especially Aggravated D
Emotional Perturbation. Off with his head!

And yes, ol' Pablo is somewhere laughing his ass off.

Jack Fisher said...

Brown's work is looks like bullshit smeared on canvas, but she's a bangable chick, within certain given limits and perhaps a paper bag. So I give Chuck a pass here.

Sam L. said...

Appears to me that he can't touch her (how DOES he paint?), so she's physically safe. Mentally safe would seem to be her problem.

Christopher B said...

The Red Pill sector has been predicting this for sometime now. #MeToo is beyond anything like the normal definition of harrasment and well on their way to the goals of allowing women to openly engage in hypergamous conduct and ensuring they are only approached by men they consider attractive.

debrajean said...

HELLO ! A powerful man using that power to take advantage of women - doesn't that sound familiar ?

I have been a working artist for over 35 years . I still draw from nude models - weekly . NEVER have I had my " head was inches away a model's vagina,” and said it “looks delicious.” That is predatory behavior. And for everyone who has never drawn from the model - the artist is NEVER inches away - WTF?

The man in a wheelchair can and did cross the line, just like Harvey.

trigger warning said...

"Predatory quadriplegic" is, in my opinion, an oxymoron.
:-D

Jack Fisher said...

no, not "just like Harvey". Harvey raped several women and abused others for decades. Chuck is a creep and if some boyfriend or husband wanted to fix his wagon, I'd lend him the wrench, what he did was magnitudes less than what Harvey did.

Ares Olympus said...

If women are coming forward to say "He hurt my feelings", they got what they wanted - an apology. If they are coming forward to warn women of his lack of professionalism, then they also got what they wanted. His reputation as a sexual being with a sense of humor is now exposed.

So mission accomplished in all respects I think.

James said...

"Brown's work is primarily engaged in exploring desire as an individuated experience that connects the personal to the collective unconscious, often mediated through advertising and commercial culture. Referencing early bourgeois painting genres, she paints herself and friends enacting their own fantasies of being part of the leisure class, with props from snacks and beverages to million-dollar artworks functioning as important accessories in the assumption of privilege."
That's some mighty big words to say nothing.

Anonymous said...

"(like the hoped for) ....million-dollar artworks functioning as important accessories in the assumption of privilege."

Would that (ironically?) be something like being deified as"an Artist(God)" via a publicized portrait by Chuck Close??

Forget the Casting Couch...needs a Fainting Couch.

What does it say about the woman's lack of judgement that she hoped Close would make an historic icon out of her?

These Foucault/Derrida fanboys & girls have long ago flown up their own fundaments.

-shoe

WaltC said...

When you're asked to pose nude, you can't be aghast when you're asked to take your clothes off. Here's how he paints:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TlwCC6bIDDs

Anonymous said...

"Brown's work is primarily engaged in exploring desire as an individuated experience that connects the personal to the collective unconscious, often mediated through advertising and commercial culture. Referencing early bourgeois painting genres, she paints herself and friends enacting their own fantasies of being part of the leisure class, with props from snacks and beverages to million-dollar artworks functioning as important accessories in the assumption of privilege."
_________________________________________

All sound and fury and in the end signifying nothing much....other than that the so-called "artist" has no talent and a very small intellect, totally dependent upon using meaningless jargon, instead of thoughtful expression, to explain her attempts (unsuccessful, from the examples shown) at creating "ART".

Sam L. said...

So he's not really a quadriplegic, as he can move his hands. (Walt C's youtube link.)