About Advertise
Art, Culture
Cameron Platter | I love big, hard cock

I love big, hard cock

by Mahala High Five Brigade / Images by Martha Cooper / 08.10.2012

The I Art series is a community mural project funded by Adidas that aims to celebrate local and international artists, mural art and the communities whose walls get painted. The project kicked off in Woodstock iKapa last year and followed up in Soweto a bit later. Finally, in 2012, the I Art crew took to the Maboneng District in downtown Johannesburg for I Art JHB. We caught up with South African artist Cameron Platter, with his keen interest in mixed messages, morality and low brow commercialism, to talk about his mural on the corner of Market and Commissioner Street.

From fine art and sculpture to big scale street art…. how does the medium change the message?

The scale doesn’t change the message.

Freud would have a field day about your obsessions with cocks, what’s your own analysis of it? Or do you just love willies?

I love big, hard, cock.

Good vs evil in South African society seems to be an ongoing theme in your work…

Pretty hard to have your eyes wide shut to the good and the bad in SA.

I love how you appear to document rather than judge… an influence from your parents perhaps? Do you aspire to some sort of ‘objectivity’ in your art?

I try to be as non-judgemental as possible. I’m a consumer, and as bad as the bad shit I document. You’re right, it’s all about documenting what’s around me.

Do you ever ignore your political consciousness and just do art for art’s sake? No social commentary, just pretty pictures… or is that just way too shallow?

Never

Would you describe your outlook as optimism or a pessimism?

I’m a “the glass is very empty” or the “the glass is overflowing” type of person.

Your I Art JHB mural mirrors the trashy sangoma and penis enlargement flyers you find on the streets everyday. People walking by may simply assume that it’s a bonafide commercial… does that undermine or justify your artistic statement?

Then it works. I want it to be as hidden and as camouflaged as possible.

Have you ever produced an artwork this big before (with the aid of a crane)?

No, but all works should have scale regardless of actual scale.

How do you feel producing art for a streetwear brand like Adidas?

If they pay on time and well, then I’m fine. Part of the contract was that they had no input on what was produced. All good…

Is this art or marketing, or both. And does the brand involvement diminish the import of your work?

I didn’t think about the brand in conceptualizing or executing the piece.

*All images © Martha Cooper.

See more here.

5   0
RESPONSES (14)
  1. Derek Smith says:

    That mural has since been badly capped as the whole I-Art-Jozi had no credibility within the Jozi street art community who worked long and hard to get their medium of expression accepted within the city. Yet not ONE of the Jozi artists was ivited to participate. I feel sorry for Cameron – and his work – as he got caught in the cross-fire of something that was none of his doing.

    Thumb up2   Thumb down 2

  2. Andy says:

    Hey Derek, when was it capped? I was there last week and it was fine?

    Thumb up0   Thumb down 0

  3. Derek Smith says:

    @ Andy – I photographed the intact piece on Heriitage day 24/9 and when I drove past it on Sunday 30/9 it was capped – maybe it was fixed in the week? – I dunno. What I do know is that the Remed piece on the side of AoM was capped the previous week and also that the huge Espo “Stay Up” was bombed and hastily fixed. Haven’t been in the area after the 30th

    Thumb up2   Thumb down 1

  4. Andy says:

    I was there on Wednesday last week. Stay Up was capped, but Cameron’s piece looked fine

    Thumb up2   Thumb down 0

  5. HarryCrews says:

    Derek Smith – Are you kidding, why would they have some corny ‘street artist” to do some graf, when they could have a great artist like Cameron do something sick. Your idea of street artists and graffiti is what marketers use to sell cellphones to teenagers.

    Thumb up3   Thumb down 0

  6. Derek Smith says:

    @HarryCrews – right by inplication you are calling renowned and respected street artists in Jozi like Rasty, Angel, Curio, Mars, Rekso, Bias, Zesta, Myza420, Jestr, Kevin Love, Breeze. HacOne and many others corny? I have seen these guys work in colaboration with Falko, Mac1One and international artists like Lazoo, Case, TKid, Okuda, SoloOne and a lot of others thereby making Jozi a graf friendly city.

    I don’t know who you are and where you come from but I don’t think you have any idea of what went down with I-ART-JOZI or about the graf scene at all. Most of the artists I mentioned have been painting in this city for years because they love what they do and not for bucks. I know them well and have been photographing their work for years sometimes in the most obscure places that you won’t be able to find

    Oh and I-ART-JOZI was sponsored by Adidas so if was in the end a markting excercise for them. Cameron Platter might be a fine artists but he’s never painted a wall in Jozi in his life

    Thumb up0   Thumb down 3

  7. Urrgghhhhh says:

    @derek smith get a life man and focus on what’s important instead of parading this like you are leading some grand crusade.
    Appreciate the work for what it is or shut the fuck up. As you yourself acknowledge, none of what you talk about has anything to do with Cameron as the artist or the wall that he created – which is awesome and deserves to be appreciated.
    All the above does to demonstrate is your own hang-ups and ego. And it’s really boring.

    Thumb up5   Thumb down 0

  8. Derek Smith says:

    @Urrg whatever – please don’t hide behind some invented name before you flame me. If you read what I wrote properly I wrote about Platters work in relation to I-ART-JOZI and the fact that he unfortunately don’t have street cred in Jozi and was caught in the fallout – I actually photographed his wall and think it was something special – It needs to be recorded as part of Jozi’s street art culture and graffiti archeology .

    And yes, you are right – I am on a Crusade to prevent this shit going down in Jozi again where a lot of outsiders come into Jozi to launch a major project dissing the local artists treating them like toys asking the to prep walls? The ONLY reason this event was held in Jozi was because Cape Town’s graffiti laws have become too strict for it to be held there.

    There’s no ego involved here, and no hang-ups – I am not a writer but I’m passionate about street art specifically in Jozi and I know how carefully public acceptance of the art form had been nurtured i this city,

    So, sorry Urgh (what’s your name again I won’t shut the fuck up. If you don’t like what I write there’s an easy solution – DON”T READ IT

    Thumb up0   Thumb down 2

  9. Andy says:

    Cameron’s work is dope. I don’t understand why Jozi graf writers would cap it. Maybe you can explain. The bit about asking local writers to prep walls is a kak move. But I take it they were paid for their time… either way. Cameron’s a respected South African artist doing great shit, it’s a pity that a change of medium should elicit such a strong reaction from other artists – it all just seems like a pissing contest and petty jealous moves from marginalised artists.

    Thumb up2   Thumb down 0

  10. snatch316 says:

    SMH

    Thumb up1   Thumb down 0

  11. HarryCrews says:

    @Derek Smith – It’s ironic that you call someone out for hiding behind a made up name! Anyway most of all you missed my point – no cares about graffiti or street art because it’s played out and boring, it’s at the low end of accepted middlebrow cool, sharing the same shelf space as swing dancing and slam poetry. There is no difference between graffiti now and the graffiti style writing on a knick knack package. It says nothing. There is a big difference between what Cameron has done though, from simply a “writer” (god that is so pretentious!) bombing his name. I don’t think it’s kak at all that those dudes prepped this wall. I mean they aren’t about the money right?

    Thumb up4   Thumb down 0

  12. Derek Smith says:

    @Harrycrews – I disagree with you – There are a lot of people that care about street art & graffiti – There are lot of people that are continiously pushing the boundaries of the art form. The fact of the matter is that the marketers latched on to graf, often using work illegaly, to allign their product to a target market which means that it lost some of it’s edge
    @Andy – It’s not a given that recognized artists capped the works – It was not only Cameron’s but also ESPO and Remed who are both highly recognized and respected artists that were capped – it might have been toys. One can call it petty jealousy but in that it means that one does not understand the nature of the animal and the bigger picture – it’s a issue of respect. There is no merit in approaching street artists with years of experience to prep your walls – it’s an insult get a casual from the street to do it. The capped work, was as a result of a badly planned I-ART-JOZI project which have been a major success if some of the local writers were included – writers, painters whatever you want to call them.

    There was a lot of debate about this on Facebook and if you a really interested you’ll find the thread – but is is boring and played out I supose? Here’s an abreviation of a post by a respected UK based artist/writer/whatever which maybe get to te crux of the issue:

    “As an outsider looking in but with much love for the South African graf scene this project would work better if Joburg artists collaborated as equals with the International artists so that it’s a two way thing. You would get a much better result if this project had on the payroll solid Joburg artists all adding to the picture that is the city’s diverse graf/ street art scene. You have to work with people to make things happen its quite bizarre why none of Joburgs finest are up on this project and quite frankly I just think this is corporate sponsor bulldozing their way in along with their agents.
    You must realise that without the pioneers in Joburg laying down the foundations for this art form and going out there and doing it, events like what you propose wouldn’t really attract even the sponsorship. And the writers who do this to this day are you’re audience and support, without them an event like what your trying to do lacks serious credibility. Plus you could have some serious impact by working with writers from Jozi’s street graf scene. If it has nothing to do with graffiti why are ESPO and Martha Cooper involved? People get irate when they see an injustice surely you can see this? I’d rethink it mate, it makes sense to work with those who visually represent the streets of Joburg if you are to say ‘I-Art- Joburg’”

    Thumb up1   Thumb down 1

  13. Anonymous says:

    MYZA420 is not a great south african graf artist – he is an idiotic crack head reprobate.

    Thumb up2   Thumb down 0

  14. Derek Smith says:

    @Anonymous – say that to Myza not to me, on the other hand rather stay Anonymous. Jean-Michel Basquiat was also a idiotic crack head reprobate and he did rather well before he offed himself and went painting with the devil or the angels or whoever

    Thumb up1   Thumb down 2

LEAVE A REPLY

Loading...