While many of you are familiar with this giant portrait project inspired by the work of Chuck Close, you may not understand the process that goes into actually completing one of these. First a photo is taken of a willing staff member. I use the computer to put a grid on that photo, then I print it out and, after numbering all the squares on the back, cut the photo into 320 tiny squares. It is then the students job to recreate each of those tiny squares into a larger (4″x4″) painting. We then put all the 4 inch paintings together on a huge grid and the portrait emerges. Until the final moments, none of the student artists know who they are painting, they must focus only on one section at a time.
Obviously care must be taken in the painting, but also in the building of the grid. If even one number is misplaced or skipped, the entire sequence following that mistake will be thrown off. That is what happened to 7th grade math teacher, Chris Driscoll. Somewhere below his eyes a number was skipped… you can see the result. Interestingly, another mistake was made later that seemed to put the numbers back in sequence, and his shoulders and collar are clear. Ironic that this number-based “oops” should happen to a math teacher’s portrait. Sorry, Chris.