Q&A with Cameron Platter

/ Art

If you haven’t already seen, our Cape Town hotel has quite the striking exterior! The vibrant facade has been created by South African artist Cameron Platter, whose graphic drawings were pieced together in an assemblage-style mural which adorns the side of the newest Radisson RED hotel. Despite graduating with a BFA in painting from Michaelis School of Fine Art in Cape Town, Cameron is now known for using a wide range of mediums including sculpture, animation, drawing and printmaking. His vibrant and vivid visuals take on strong and sometimes challenging themes recurrent in modernity often with a cheeky, satirical spin. Cameron’s bold art pieces were the perfect match for the energetic and striking Cape Town hotel on the V&A Waterfront.

Here we chat to Cameron about where he finds inspiration for his work, his favorite things about the South African capital, and of course, the incredible work he created for Radisson RED Cape Town.

Can you please tell us a bit about your background and how you discovered your love for art?

I was born in Johannesburg, grew up around Cape Town, and now live in Durban. I really enjoyed drawing as a kid, and in my teens spent time in the studio of Cecil Skotnes- one of South Africa’s most renowned modernist artists. I then went on to study art at the University of Cape Town, and have pretty much been working as an artist ever since.

Where do you find inspiration? And how do you begin to plan / create your work?

I find inspiration in the everyday. I suppose being an artist is about constantly having your eyes open, and trying to think and see things in a new way. I really have no idea about how exactly a work comes into being- seeing something, reading something, hearing something might trigger an association, which then leads to an idea, which then leads to a work. Actually producing a work is often the (relatively) easy part- this is the stage that takes planning and preparation and scheduling. And practice.

Your art is super vibrant. Is there are reoccurring theme / messages behind your work?

I tend to work with a particular theme, until I exhaust it. Like how Cezanne would paint the same mountain day in day out. Except with me, I have drawn on sources as disparate as fast food, Constantin Brâncuși, historical South African artists, psycadelics, landscape, Deepak Chopra, poetry, advertising, therapy, psycho-collage, and consumerism. Amongst many others…

I don’t know if there are ever any direct messages behind my work (although the pieces can often appear, at first, to be very direct/ in your face.) I’d prefer that the viewers of my work find their own way, get their own message.

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You recently created an amazing mural for Radisson RED Cape Town, how did you decide which direction to take that piece?

I decided to take a very simple approach. I fragmented one of my graphic pencil crayon drawings and then collaged these elements to make a new assemblage type mural work on the hotel’s façade.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Cape Town? And your favorite place to go?

I love trail running above Newlands forest on Table Mountain. I also enjoy swimming in the ice-cold sea at Bakoven, and the slightly less chilly Silvermine lake.

Which is your favorite piece of work to date?

That changes daily! Right now, I’m really into some of my carved polyurethane reliefs. And my carved wooden assemblage sculptures. And also my new drawings!

What’s your life motto? (if you have one)


Where can people see your work?

In South Africa my work is on display at Whatiftheworld Gallery (www.whatiftheworld.com) and Blank Projects (www.blankprojects.com).



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