American painter and photographer Chuck Close discusses his life's work and the creative process behind it in an interview with Pulitzer Prize-Nominated playwright Anna Deavere Smith as part of the 2009 Aspen Ideas Festival.
Chuck Close is a American painter and photographer who achieved fame as a photorealist, through his massive-scale portraits. Though a catastrophic spinal artery collapse in 1988 left him severely paralyzed, he has continued to paint and produce work which remains sought after by museums and collectors.
Anna Deavere Smith
Anna Deavere Smith is an actress and playwright who is said to have created a new theater form. She is a University Professor at New York University and founding director of Anna Deavere Smith Works, which supports artists from around the world whose work addresses issues of social justice. Smith has been honored with many prizes, including a MacArthur fellowship and two Tony nominations. She was runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize for her play Fires in the Mirror. Her most recent one-person show, Let Me Down Easy, toured the US and was broadcast on PBS’s “Great Performances.” She has had roles on popular television shows, including Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie” and NBC’s “The West Wing,” and in feature films, including The American President and Philadelphia. She is a trustee of the Aspen Institute.