Hear artist Chuck Close, actor Richard Gere, rock historian Ed Ward, and film critic David Edelstein on this edition of Fresh Air.
Chuck Close has been called "the most methodical artist that has ever lived in America" and the "reigning portraitist of the Information Age". He creates jumbo-size faces on canvas (8 or 9 feet high), copying them from photographs. They are painted in a dotted faux-pointillist style. In 1989 Close suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed from the neck down. Gaining partial use of his hand with a brace, he learned to paint all over again. He is the subject of a new comprehensive book, Chuck Close: Work, by Christopher Finch. And he's the inspiration for a new dance portrait, C to C (Close to Chuck), that makes its world premiere on Oct 27 during the American Ballet Theatre's fall season at City Center in New York. It includes music composed by friend and frequent subject Philip Glass. (Original Airdate: 4/14/1998)
Then, Ed Ward profiles Motown Records circa 1965.
Later, Richard Gere, who has almost 40 films to his credit, including Days of Heaven, American Gigolo, An Officer and a Gentleman, The Cotton Club, Looking for Mr. Goodbar, and Chicago. In his latest film, The Hoax, Gere plays a scam artist who gets a major book publisher to pay him a seven-figure advance. It's based on the true story of Clifford Irving, who claimed to be a Howard Hughes biographer. It's now out on DVD. (Original Airdate: 4/4/2007)
Finally, David Edelstein reviews Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, directed by Sidney Lumet, starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke. [Broadcast Date: October 26, 2007]
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