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He is beloved by fashionable New York, and his work – which can sell for millions – is held in the collections of most international art galleries, including Tate Modern. Since 1988 Close has been wheelchair-bound after a blood clot on his spine left him severely paralysed.
He is dyslexic, too, and has struggled with a rare neurological disorder called prosopagnosia or ‘face blindness’ since childhood.
He shot her face, and some incredibly matter-of-fact nudes.
Bruised and exhausted, the fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg stares into the camera, without a trace of make-up, the wrinkles of her then 64 years clearly visible.
The photograph was taken last year, six weeks after a skiing accident that left the fashion designer with a broken nose and a black eye.
The condition means that Close cannot recognise people by their facial features in three-dimensional form.
Present him with a two-dimensional portrait, photograph or painting, though, and the problem goes away.