ANOTHER ARTIST WITH DAMAGED EYESIGHT—CHUCK CLOSE. I have posted, including here, on the theory of Margaret Livingstone, a Harvard neurobiologist, that it is an advantage for an artist to have poor depth perception because the artist sees the world as slightly flatter than other people see it. She formulated the theory after noting that Rembrandt’s self portraits show him with his eyes badly aligned.

I took note when I read an interview in the Wall Street Journal (March 7) by Marc Myers with the artist Chuck Close that Close has suffered since he was a child from prosopagnosia (face blindness). He has trouble recognizing people in person, and does better when he works with a photograph or painting of the person. What makes this more remarkable is that, as this wikipedia article begins, is that Close “achieved fame as a photorealist, through his massive-scale portraits.” Here is a link to a page with dozens of portraits by Chuck Close.

In light of Margaret Livingstone’s theory, I was struck by Close’s statement in the interview that: “I look at a face in a painting and just when I’ve figured it out, it flattens.”

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