Notes on Chuck Close in Rome

Henri Cole at The Paris Review:

I’ve just come from a little opening up on the fourth floor, and while the pastel landscapes were fine to look at, most remarkable was a brief conversation I had with the painter Chuck Close, who suddenly began speaking quite openly about his ailment or condition, the result, I believe, of a blood clot in his spine. He said he’s been in his present state for seven years, and that he only feels heat from his shoulders up. Pointing to his scalp, he said the only place he can perspire is through a small patch of skin on the left side of his head. When he is touched anywhere below his shoulders, what he feels is an icy cold. He is happiest in the sun in his bathing suit.

When he paints, he straps his brushes to his wrists. It is easier for him to paint than to draw, because he can paint with his arm out before him; to draw requires more mobility than he has. He talked with such candor that a small group of us was drawn to him.

more here.