The 20-Inch-by-24-Inch Polaroid Camera
Chuck Close comments on the end of the 20-inch-by-24-inch Polaroid camera:
Like other artists he knows who have used the camera, he said, its attraction is not just in its size and endearingly oddball personality, like a creature from an obsessive hobbyist’s garage. The immediacy of making the picture, Mr. Close said, changes the relationship between the subject and the artist, who together witness the image come into being after the photograph is pulled from the camera and the chemicals perform their function. “You both work together to get something that you want out of it. Your subject knows what you’re trying to do.” (He described a 2012 session with President Obama in a hotel room so tiny that the camera and Mr. Close’s wheelchair — a spinal-artery collapse more than two decades ago left him partially paralyzed — crowded out the Secret Service.)
It’s too bad these cameras are going away.
Many artists crave analogue tools to create their work. Clicking a button on a digital device removes creative resistance from the act of creation.