by Chuck Close
Chuck Close, painter, printmaker, and photographer has published stunning daguerreotypes in a beautiful book: A Couple of Ways of Doing Something.
A Couple of Ways of Doing Something replicates a deluxe limited-edition portfolio whose initial run was only 75 copies. This cloth-bound edition preserves the luxurious sensibility of the original with 22 extraordinary oversized daguerreotypes printed in rich tritone. Working with daguerreotype master Jerry Spagnoli to conquer the complexities of this venerable process, which yields images of astonishing detail and gravity, Chuck Close photographed many of the same artist-friends who have made regular appearances in his paintings over the years: Laurie Anderson, Lyle Ashton Harris, Cecily Brown, Gregory Crewdson, Carroll Dunham, Ellen Gallagher, Philip Glass, Bob Holman, Elizabeth Murray, Elizabeth Peyton, Andres Serrano, Cindy Sherman, James Siena, Lorna Simpson, Kiki Smith, James Turrell, Robert Wilson, Terry Winters, Lisa Yuskavage and himself. Each image is complemented by a poem on its subject by Bob Holman, the celebrated and widely published New York School poet who originated and hosted the famous Poetry Slams at the Nuyorican Poets Café and now runs the Bowery Poetry Club. With the counterpoint of Holman’s engaging poetry, the collected work becomes a transfixing group portrait of Close’s influential and highly creative circle of friends and colleagues, as well as an exploration of a challenging photographic medium. A Couple of Ways of Doing Something was originally published, in 2004, as a limited-edition portfolio (75 copies, plus artist’s and other proofs; $15,000). The new Aperture edition makes this unique collaborative project available to a wider audience while preserving the luxurious sensibility of the limited edition. Each image is gorgeously reproduced in rich tritone; each poem is reproduced from press proofs of the letterpress originals, composed by renowned typographer Ruth Lingen.
An exhibition of the daguerreotypes, poems, and representative works by each artist-subject are currently shown at Aperture Gallery between November 9, 2006 and January 4, 2007.