Chuck Shut, the American artist identified for his hanging photograph-realist portraits rendered on a monumental scale, died on Thursday in Long Island, New York. He was 81 many years previous.

A native of Monroe, Washington, Close—who obtained his B.A. from the University of Washington in 1962 and an MFA from Yale in 1964—first came to prominence in the 1960s, when he started out earning big and astonishingly in depth grisaille paintings of himself and his close friends employing thinned-out black paint and an airbrush. (In 1967, he made the decision to abandon the paintbrush, conveying later on, “If you impose a limit to not do some thing you’ve completed prior to, it will force you to the place you’ve in no way long gone right before.”) 

In a 1970 tale, Vogue’s Barbara Rose referred to Shut as a “microscopic realist,” categorizing him with a group that bundled Alfred Leslie and Richard Estes in 1981, the critic David Bourdon puzzled at how the “inexpressive faces” in Close’s perform, which tended to stare impassively into area, have been “transformed into maps of unfamiliar terrain, with pores turning into craters, blood vessels into streams, hairs into steel cables.” He included, “There is no denying that Close is a virtuoso craftsman whose tour-de-pressure paintings advantage the gee-whiz response they commonly acquire.” As Close’s practice grew, he came to seize figures such as the composer Philip Glass fellow artists Jasper Johns, Kara Walker, and Cindy Sherman and President Bill Clinton. While he was greatest known as a painter, Close’s apply also included drawing, collage, daguerreotype and Polaroid pictures, printmaking, and tapestries. 

In 1988, Near was committed to a wheelchair following suffering a spinal aneurysm. Throughout his lengthy rehabilitation, he continued to paint with the help of an assistant, using a brush strapped onto his wrist to create portraits out of a grid of colored blocks to produce a pixelated effect. (Near experienced also made use of a grid for his picture-realist paintings, scaling up the photographs that he worked from cell by mobile.) Close also struggled all his life with prosopagnosia (or encounter blindness), a affliction that his operate actually assisted him to handle. “I don’t know who everyone is and primarily have no memory at all for people today in actual space,” he explained to Oliver Sacks in 2010. “But when I flatten them out in a photograph, I can dedicate that impression to memory.”    

In modern a long time, Shut was accused of sexual harassment by a number of of his woman sitters amongst 2005 and 2013, prompting the Countrywide Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., to indefinitely postpone an exhibition of his do the job planned for Might 2018. (Whilst he apologized to his accusers, Near rigorously denied any wrongdoing, admitting only to “having a soiled mouth.”) On the celebration of his demise, Close’s neurologist, Thomas M. Wisniewski of New York University’s Heart for Cognitive Neurology, attributed at least some of Close’s alleged misconduct to frontotemporal dementia, a condition that damages the aspect of the brain that “governs conduct and inhibits foundation instincts,” Wisniewski informed The New York Periods.

On the internet, the reaction to Close’s loss of life yielded praise for his aesthetic and complex achievements blended with grave acknowledgments of his complicated legacy. 

He is survived by two ex-wives, two daughters, and four grandchildren.