Chuck Close is well known for his photorealistic portraits, and as an artist with numerous parties vying for control of his work, he is in a unique position to discuss what the art market today is really like. Close talks about allegations of corruption in the art market and defends his field. He reveals his disgust with people comparing art dealers to corrupt brokers on Wall Street, noting that the comparison unfair since it doesn't take into account the passion that art inspires.
According to Close, "If the bottom dropped out of the market and the artist was not going to sell anything, he or she will keep working, and the dealer will keep trying to find some way to convince somebody to buy this stuff."
Close believes that being an artist involves having an innate intergrity, saying "I only have so much time and energy and money and I’m going to put it into my work. Or someone else who is willing to make a vow of poverty to keep working. How they can be compared to the Bernie Madoffs in the world and be found wanting, and for them to be the ones without integrity is beyond me."
Close, who is as well-known for his self portraits as for his other works, has painted Bill and Hillary Clinton, Kate Moss, Brad Pitt, Robert Rauschenberg, Richard Serra, Cindy Sherman, Roy Lichtenstien, Jasper Johns, Al Gore, Phillip Glass and many more.
Watch Close talk about art dealers being compared to Wall Street, and see him interviewed by Stephen Colbert here.