Saturday, September 11, 2010


Stay-At-Home was an idea I guess, or maybe it was something else. I remember when I started to venture out into the art world there was one obvious fact, there are less women in galleries than there are men. I do not believe that this is because there are more talented men than there are women. Nor do I believe it is totally associated with discrimination. Men are typically looked upon as the Alpha-Dog of the family pack, and hence even when married the male artist is probably given more time to focus on his work.

This probably rings even more true for parents of infants and children. Traditionally, the woman's role was limited to raising her children. While feminism has changed those expectations, many parents, men and women, still chose to stay home to raise their children. This is out of necessity, out of the desire to raise your children the “right way” whatever that might be. And while most parents are willing to sacrifice everything for their children, should anyone sacrifice their dream?

The second portion of Stay-At-Home is probably a reflection of personal questions that I, the curator, am asking myself on a daily basis. How does one maintain a dream while dealing with the realities of day-to-day life? Artists are at their core romantic beings in search of greater vision and understanding. What happens when life becomes so overwhelming and busy that your ideals take a back seat to reality?

So, while handling Trashed, my first art show based out of my house, I came to the realization that there is a certain level of joy one can extract from pursuing dreams in spare time. A focus comes upon you when you know you have limited time, and clarity of vision. The work is succinct and in many ways a different kind of beauty emerges.

Hence, the purpose of Stay-At-Home is to celebrate those artists who have kept their dreams tucked away for free moments. I am seeking artists who are full time, stay-at-home parents. This is not to be an insult, I believe creating art is work, not therapy, but, what I seek are people who have kept that drive and that hope that the world will take notice of their efforts and their vision.

This is a call to artists interested in Stay-At-Home. Please submit recent works to me with an explanation on how the experience of staying at home to help raise your family has become a compliment to the art you make. In addition, please let me know where you saw yourself at the age you are now, when you were just out of college and trying to make a go of it as an artist.

While trashed was a large collection of artists, on this project I am looking for roughly 4 to 5 painters and 1 sculptor to fill the space. 2 – 3 paintings per and they can be larger, but not enormous. Looking forward to submission.

Please submit to craig.a.platt at

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Importance of Sitting In One Place and Reading

There is a slight breeze. There are people all around. The trees sway gently, the air is growing cool in the shade, in the sun I can feel every corpuscle in my skin, the pink forming on me neck, the matted brown hair on my head hot to the touch. I am leaned over, right leg resting on top of the left, chin parallel to my chest and my eyes are moving from left to right at a solid marathoners pace. I am reading. My mouth slightly bitter from the drink I am enjoying. This is a true feeling of calm.

Recently while traveling to Italy I was reminded of something I had learned several years earlier while living in New York City. A time before text messaging, when I would sometimes leave my cellular phone at home, and just read. I would read in Union Square, in Washington Square Park, on a park bench along the Hudson River or on my lunch break while watching the boats from Battery Park. In Italy I sat in Piazzas with a cool beer and read. Dogs running wildly, little children playing in a fountain. I didn't worry about appointments or bills or what time to be back at the office. I read. I read for hours, while the sun set and the street lights came alive.

In my early twenties there could be a storm outside or a light flurry, the red of tail lights would trail through foggy windows. I would sit and devour words. There is this strange sensation when you sit and read. The mind becomes clear, at least for me. These ideas present themselves, big ideas, things you are afraid to think about when you don't want to be distracted. And then those ideas vanish and there's a peace that settles. And you keep reading and then the imagination really kicks in. A city or a nature reserve can materialize in three dimensions.

I find myself transported to the world I am reading about. And I read and read and read. And when I finish the book, or it's time to go somewhere, I feel something, what I imagine the skydiver feels after he lands and hits the bar for some conversation. An exhilaration and a clarity that I don;t normally feel. Also, a level of inspiration and understanding of the world. Or at least that's how I perceive it.

And here's what this really is about. Sometimes you want to have a conversation, an interaction, and the real life one's don't fulfill those needs. Well, sitting with a book at a cafe, in a plaza or a park, a hotel room or in bed, these are the conversations I need to have. It is sitting with like minded people, or with people I look up to. It's an opportunity to see new parts of the world, new perspectives, experience emotions and situations I may never experience. And most importantly it puts my own life in context. Helps to sharpen my intellect and my wit and to help me write. It's reading for me that inspires writing.

So when I talk about the importance of sitting and reading, what I mean to say is that sitting and reading is as important as breathing for me. I will never be normal, this I know. I will never be at peace. But, when I sit and read for an hour or two I feel more like myself than at any other time in my life. From the day I moved into an apartment on Calhoun Street in New Orleans and sat on the front portch swing and read Hemingway, to this weekend when I say on my lawn and tore into some Murakami. I have made my best friends in the world while sitting quietly and reading. Kerouac, Miller (Arthur and Henry), Hemingway, Ginsberg, Vonnegut, Bolano, Carver, WH Auden, William Carlos Williams, Thoreau, Joyce, Thomas Wolfe, Joseph Heller and Carson McCullers and so many more.

Reading on subways, reading in bars, reading over coffee, over whiskey, reading over rainstorms and heatwaves, snow drifts on large acreages. I love to read. And I love to sit quietly on any type of day and read, finding a gentle peace that can only wash over me at these times.