Frank: My Favorite Artwork

By Anya, Minnesota

By Anya, Minnesota

My favorite artwork in the Minneapolis Institute of Art is “Frank” by Chuck Close.  The first time I walked around the galleries, I was immediately drawn to this giant face on the wall.  From far away, it appeared to be a photograph. When I realized it wasn’t, I was baffled.  Approaching the painting, I could observe every single pore on the face. There wasn’t a hair missing. How could the artist have created something that lifelike and precise with his hands? I was so in love that I did some research when I got home; now I know the answer.

The artist, Chuck Close, used a unique method to create Frank. He broke the photograph up into hundreds of smaller units using a grid technique. He drew each section of the face as its own piece, square by square. This allowed him to be extremely precise and not think about the artwork as a whole, but rather focus on hundreds of individual sections.

This resonated with me because I recently learned in a portrait drawing class about the right and left hemispheres of the brain. The right brain is focused on creativity and abstract thinking, while the left brain is used for more analytical and rational thinking. My teacher taught me that as artists and creative thinkers, our natural inclination is to be solely right brained. She explained that when it comes to drawing something exactly as the eye sees it, however, it is important to excercise the left brain as well. Practicing this technique was difficult, as my right brain would tend to take over, distorting the image.

By using the grid technique to create “Frank”, the artist was able to create the perfect balance in using his creative right brain and his analytical left brain, ultimately producing this masterpiece. This idea ties into Girls Design the World because we have a great balance of girls who are more right brained, and girls who are more left brained. When we all come together and contribute our unique strengths towards a common goal, we will create a masterpiece together and change the world.