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

LA Weekly