Thursday, December 24, 2009

Devil on His Father's Shadow

"My Mom’s Puerto Rican and my Dad is from Trinidad. My Mom was in the army and my Dad is an artist, so I was an Army brat growing up. I lived all over the place, but my Dad eventually settled in Washington, D.C., and teaches art at Howard University. The fun thing about growing up in an art house was that the things that my mother wouldn’t let me do, my father would, if I said I was doing it for 'art'. So, I’m blowing up rats or breaking the neighbor's windows, but I was doing it for 'art!' That’s the only good thing with being a young kid in an artist’s house. You could get away with anything because of the 'art' excuse.

"My Dad,
Michael Platt, has been painting since he was in his 20’s. He graduated college at 21 and then started teaching at a number of places before landing at Howard. He is a well-recognized painter, but it was a long struggle for him to get there. For me, I am just getting started. I tell you, it is tough growing up in my father’s shadow. Sometimes, it is hard for me to talk about it.

"People always say to me, 'You are following in your father's footsteps.' Yeah, but, I mean, I am
different. See, my Dad is a painter, but I am a tattoo artist. I also do photography and am a radio DJ. My Dad always used dull colors in his paintings, so I use neon colors and anything and everything from the 80’s and up. I really try to push the boundaries. I mean, look at my tattoos. I got my first tattoo at 12 and have been getting them ever since. Now, I am putting UV ink into my tattoos, which makes my tattoos glow in the dark. My whole thing is to be more expressive and stand out more than other people. Even though they still haven’t proven it to be cancer free, I don’t care. I am always trying to cause a commotion with myself and my art.

"The competition for art in this town is pretty fierce. People say New York is tough and that if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. That’s all bullshit, man. Those people have never spent time trying to make it as an artist here. This little city of ours runs everything in this nation, including art. I think that D.C. is second only to London in terms of art. I am always inspired by the city of D.C."

1 comment:

spiff1 said...

I've known your dad for a long time. There art other father and son artist in DC. You will find that sometime in the future you two will have a chance to work on a project together. It can make for a rewarding experience.
-Ken Ashton