Paul Simon and Chuck Close

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A conversation between the singer-songwriter and the portraitist about the creative process, what inspires their work, and the roots of their artistry



Close explains why artistic problems are more important than their solutions.



Simon and Close discuss Montauk, Magritte, Joan Baez, and other sources of inspiration.

Simon on how melody, rhythm, and lyrics combine in his work; Close on why the length of time it takes to make a painting is irrelevant.



Close recalls how his "narrow skill set" made him hungrier, and why he never faces a blank canvas; Simon compares his problems in his art to problems in his life.
 

Simon on the rhythms he learned from African musicians; Close on how limitations free him up, and why he doesn't paint with a palette.



Close remembers his grandmother's crocheting and reflects on women's work and "crafts."



Simon discusses making songs with his wife; Close explains how he borrows from himself, and how he knows it's time to set a project aside.

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Alex Hoyt is a freelance writer and digital illustrator whose work has appeared in The AtlanticNational Geographic, and Architect.

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