I’m perplexed by this story that was published in the NY Times: The MysteriousMetamorphosis of Chuck Close

READ: The MysteriousMetamorphosis of Chuck Close

Yes, Chuck Close is a legend. We all know that. The part of the article that pertains to him was very well done. Bravo! I see Close around town and always get starstruck. I know how special it is to have someone of his caliber living in our beloved city by the sea. I am just so puzzled by the offhanded remarks the author wrote about Long Beach. He just comes across as this pretentious asshole who cannot believe why somebody would chose to live here. I’m not alone on this, read through comments on the NY Times website or even the facebooks:

“Loved the article but hated that the author chose – repeatedly – to backhandedly ‘bash’ Long Beach. The reiterated ‘why would he end up in Long Beach’ sentiment – annoyed me. I felt offended. Long Beach is OUR paradise. Meh.

“The writer struck me as quite pretentious, with the snobby disapproval of Long Beach and the hoi polloi and the tourists, ick!”

“It’s clear from this piece that the writer knows nothing about Long Beach and yet he evaluates the city as if he is some sort of expert.”

My sentiments exactly. I mean, what is this?

“bwomp-­bwompingnightclubs along the strip”

What strip? What night clubs? Who even still uses the term ‘night clubs’ these days!

“If all this sounds like an odd place to find one of the world’s most celebrated painters, a master of the modern portrait whose work is displayed in the great museums, all I can tell you is that pretty much every close friend and relative of Close’s feels the same way”

Was this article solely written to bash Long Beach? I don’t get it! Long Beach is actually home to an array of amazing people, not just cops and firefighters looking to blow off steam, as the author suggested. Wow, what an insult to cops and firefighters. But don’t worry, you won’t see any of them at any artist colony. Again, pretentious….

“crowded isolation of Long Beach” 

sigh…. I just can’t…. I love Love LOVE Manhattan, but I felt semi-isolated when I lived there with the hustle, the bustle, tall buildings, etc. In Long Beach, I just walk down to the beach and I’m in Zen. To each his own, I guess….

The author contradict’s himself [sorta] when he wrote:

“Six months later, he was back in Long Beach with the canvas nearly complete. It was the darkest painting he’d ever composed and, to my eye, one of the most beautiful.” 

Perhaps the heart and soul of Long Beach was exactly what Close needed. Who am I to say, I’m no artist, but I do know this: Long Beach has a very strong heart and soul. It doesn’t come packaged in a pompous goody bag. You have to actually live here to realize how special, unique and magical it is. To me, the backhanded-bashing of Long Beach comes across as very High School/amateur hour. I guess us LB-folks can never and will never be part of the cool crowd. Come to think of it, I am actually ok with that.

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