One of the great things about art is that you don't need to know how to create it to appreciate it. That notion rings especially true for Stuart Platt, owner of Suicidal Octopuss, a company he created in October to foster, exhibit and broker art.
Platt, who works as a video-game producer for Sony, has a passion for art that's palpable when he talks about it. His eyes light up like a kid on Christmas morning when he describes the pieces he'll show at Your Name Here, his first exhibition under Suicidal Octopuss, at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 25, at Molotov Gallery (852 16th St. in East Village).
"My goal with the company is to evangelize and get artists exposure and art shows in places they wouldn't be exposed to," says Platt, who invested $10,000 of his own money to start the company. "I wasn't sure what response I would get, but the response was phenomenal.
"Being an independent artist, it's very hard to get your art out there and get people's attention," he adds. "For me, I just love art so much. So, if I see something that catches my eye, I'm, like, 'Hell, I'll sell your art for you. It'll be fun.'"
The show will feature graffiti and urban street art in a variety of media by 14 artists, two of them from San Diego. They include Snak3oil, Chris RWK, Epic Uni and locals Jamie Sweetin and Misty Michelle. The focal point of the show will be miniatures Platt commissioned from each artist.
He purchased nine-inch miniatures of billboards, recycling cans, dumpsters and other public structures that are usually targets for graffiti and gave them to his artists to use as canvases. Through these small sculptures, Platt aims to poke fun at the illegality of graffiti art.
The artists took to the idea of working on the miniatures right away, he says.
"They had no idea how cool it was," Platt says. "Their reactions are funny, because a lot of them have never done anything like that before—not on a miniature. They want to do more. It's a different medium for them. It's really unique, and they look really great on shelves."
Though the goal is to sell the miniatures, Platt, who's been storing them at home until the day of the show, acknowledges that it'll be hard to let them go.
"I've fallen in love with them," he says.
Platt expects Your Name Here to lead to more shows. Starting in June, he'll hold a weekly art night at Knotty Barrel, the East Village gastropub. Eventually, he hopes to own his own art gallery.
"I came into it knowing that I wouldn't make money on Your Name Here probably," Platt says. "But I wanted to see what the reaction is to that type of art. It's almost like a focus test. There's a trust that I've gained with these guys. I think they're just so appreciative that there's someone who believes in them and wants to get their art out."
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