Chuck Close on Bond Street

Art & Culture

Chuck Close's former home and studio

Chuck Close - Lou Reed NYC Subway Art

About Chuck Close on Bond Street

 & why it made the Carpe City list

Genius portraitist, Chuck Close, lived and worked on Bond Street for decades. His studio was on the ground floor of 20 Bond for thirty years, and he bought 48 Bond in 2008.

He loved the street so much that Close even sued developers in 2008 to ensure that nearby construction on Lafayette street didn’t damage Bond’s light and air.

Close, known for his large-scale photorealistic portraits, arrived in New York in 1967 and became a fixture of the downtown scene. His subjects included everyone from Lou Reed to Barack Obama.

Though he was paralyzed (from the neck down) in 1988, he never stopped painting or creating.

Beyond his Bond Street digs, Close had several other direct connections to NYC. He sat on the City’s Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission under Mayor Bloomberg, and in 2010 he was commissioned by the MTA to make twelve mosaics for the 86th Street/2nd Avenue Subway Station.

Carpe City Trivia

Fun facts:

Close, who created portraits, had a neurological condition called Prosopagnosia (face blindness). Since he couldn't remember faces, he painted them. He had said this condition inspired his artwork.

Close was not the only artist on Bond Street. This stretch of street has long been an artists' haven. For example, the artist Virginia Admiral (Mother of Robert De Niro) owned 22 Bond Street. Her tenants there included Robert Maplethorpe and the experimental Jazz legend Sam Rivers.

By: Lucie Levine

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