George Mason Galleries Open Graduate Student, Platt Exhibits Today

Posted: January 20, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The 2004 Graduate Student Exhibition from the Department of Art and Visual Technology opens today in the Mason Hall Atrium and Concert Hall Galleries. Featuring works in mixed media, digital arts, printmaking, painting, and photography, this year’s annual showcase runs through March 31. A reception will be held on Jan. 29 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Mason Hall Atrium Gallery.

Also today, “The Back Forty: Part II” by Washington, D.C., artist Michael B. Platt opens in the Johnson Center and Fine Arts Galleries. This wide-ranging retrospective (“The Back Forty: Part I” will be exhibited simultaneously at Northern Virginia Community College’s Alexandria Campus) showcases the eclectic and thought-provoking work of the artist in varied forms, including drawings, paintings, prints, and installations.

A reception with artist talk will be held on Monday, Feb. 9, beginning with the talk in Mason’s Harris Theatre at 4:30 p.m. and moving to the reception in the Johnson Center Gallery at 5:30 p.m.

“I tend to draw and print about people, the abuse of power, and its effect on us all,” says Platt of his drawings. “Like the events you may see from the window of the bus you ride to work when you can’t get off the bus to fully check out what caught your eye…these fragments, like newspaper articles, old family photographs, and TV news, come together to form a particular image of what kind of people we are.”

Platt explains that digital work affords the opportunity to “treat photographic images as I would a drawing or a print.” A recent group show at Washington’s Anton Gallery featured his digital images in unique renderings of a personal-social-historical nature.

Recent installations have dealt with living environments, particularly “shotgun” houses. Platt explains his fascination with this distinctive artifact of Southern architecture, so-called because of the standard layout enabling someone to aim and shoot a shotgun straight through the three rooms and out the back door. “Ever since I saw shotgun houses while visiting New Orleans as a child, their narrow proportions have fascinated me. Second, it is a very essential architectural form to work with. Third, it is a form that for me visually and viscerally connects New Orleans, the Caribbean, West Africa, South Africa, and other places of the African Diaspora. The memories it conjures are historical and personal.”

For more information on Platt, click here.

Platt art
“Outhouse Shoot Out” by artist Michael B. Platt

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