Spoleto Festival USA unveiled its 2007 poster this morning.
Here it is.
Here's what the festival had to say about it:
Spoleto Festival USA Unveils Official 2007 Festival Poster
by Renowned Artist Chuck Close
Charleston, South Carolina – Spoleto Festival USA General Director Nigel Redden unveiled the festival’s official 2007 poster by acclaimed painter, photographer and printmaker Chuck Close today at Spoleto Festival USA’s office at 14 George Street. Spoleto Festival USA, held from May 25 to June 10, will present over 120 performances of opera, dance, theater and music.
For decades, Chuck Close has been re-inventing the art of portrait making. In addition to his various collections of self-portraits, Close’s favorite subjects have been family and close friends – many of whom are prominent figures in the art world. The 2007 Spoleto Festival USA poster will feature one of his most recognizable works: a piece entitled Large Phil Fingerprint/Random (1979) – a portrait of legendary composer and long-time friend Philip Glass, whose latest concert work Book of Longing will make its U.S. premiere at the 2007 festival.
Close’s unique approach to portraiture begins with a photograph which is then divided into grid squares. The artist then transfers the proportional grid to an oversized canvas – magnifying the reality and imperfections of the human face to create a mural-like portrait. Large Phil Fingerprint/Random (1979) is an outstanding example of fingerprinting, one of Close’s most innovative techniques, in which he inked his thumb and forefinger and pressed them to the canvas to achieve a subtle range of grays. Viewed up close, the whorled patterns of his fingerprints can be easily seen.
Throughout 40 years of friendship, Chuck Close and Philip Glass, two of the most important artists of our time, have drawn inspiration and support from one another. A photograph of a young and tousled Glass taken in 1969, has been the inspiration for a countless number of Close’s portraits over the years. In 2005, Glass created his own portrait of his friend Close in the form of a 15-minute musical piece composed for the solo piano.
Born in 1940 in Monroe, Wisconsin, Chuck Close was 14 when an exhibition of Jackson Pollock’s abstract paintings inspired him to become a painter. He studied at the University of Washington School of Art and at Yale University School of Art and Architecture, where he received his Masters of Fine Art in 1964. His work began to be shown in significant galleries in New York including the Whitney Museum of American Art in the late 1960s and by 1980, he was widely recognized as an important figure in contemporary American art.
In 1988 at the age of 49, Close was at the height of his career when he was stricken with a blood clot in his spinal chord that left him a quadriplegic. He began painting again as occupational therapy , which allowed him to recover some mobility. He ultimately learned to paint again using his entire arm – not just his wrists and fingers. In his studio, only a few adjustments have been made: he uses a brace to support his arm, straps to hold his brushes and has an easel that moves up and down to ensure he is always at the right height. Today, Close continues to paint and push the boundaries of portrait making, inspiring a new generation of artists.
Spoleto Kicks off 2007 Window Display Contest
Along with the poster unveiling each year, Spoleto Festival USA sponsors a citywide window display contest to generate community interest and excitement in the weeks leading up to the 17-day arts festival. Downtown merchants participate by decorating creative storefront windows featuring the 2007 Spoleto poster as the inspiration and centerpiece for the design. In this highly anticipated and competitive contest, first, second and third place prizes are given in the categories of Judges’ and People’s Choice awards. Winners are announced and honored at an awards reception in May. The deadline for merchants to enter the window display contest is Friday, April 20. All window designs must be completed by Friday, May 4.
Judges’ Awards are based on originality, creativity and presentation. Windows will be judged by local media personalities on May 11, 2007, while cruising the competition route in a trolley provided by Absolutely Charleston. The top winner in this category will receive a two-night stay at the luxurious Four Diamond Boardwalk Inn at Wild Dunes. The second place winner will receive eight box seats at a Charleston Riverdogs baseball game complete with wait staff and the opportunity to throw the opening pitch. The third place winner will receive dinner for two at the newly remodeled local institution, Charleston Grill.
People’s Choice Awards are selected by the general public. To vote for a favorite window, patrons can fill out a ballot published in The Post and Courier or submit an online ballot at www.spoletousa.org beginning Sunday, May 6. The top winner in this category will receive a round of golf for four people on the Harbor Golf Course at Wild Dunes, Charleston’s Island Resort. Other prizes include a $100 gift certificate to dine at the AAA Four Diamond award winning restaurant Grill 225.
The official 2007 Spoleto Festival USA poster costs $25 and may be purchased now by calling (843) 722-2764 or by visiting Spoleto’s website at www.spoletousa.org. The Spoleto Gift Shop, on the second floor of the Gaillard Auditorium, 77 Calhoun Street, will open on Thursday, May 24. Tickets to all Spoleto events can be purchased in person at the Spoleto Box Office on the first floor of the Gaillard Auditorium, by calling (843) 579-3100 or by visiting www.spoletousa.org.