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Crowd-Pleasing Portraitist

Seen online, Chuck Close's larger-than-life portraits look as if they belong in a class with mathematical surrealist M.C. Escher or psychedelic spiritualist Alex Gray -- popular geniuses who make shtick look advanced. But in person and up close, the painter's marks are actually crude, loose and idiosyncratic. Try standing just a few inches from the canvas, where each square of paint resembles a colorful Kandinsky homage, then back up slowly to see it all come together to make convincingly accurate portraits. Blum & Poe, 2727 S. La Cienega Blvd.; through Dec. 22. (310) 836-2062,
Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: Oct. 29. Continues through Dec. 21, 2011


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