I recently had the unfortunate experience to watch Platon being interviewed by Charlie Rose. I like Charlie Rose, not so much Platon, whose work I find to be overbearing in it's pomposity. His self deprecating manner in the interview - "if I have any talent, and I'm not sure I do" - was just too much.
He's riding high at the moment, Portraits of Power was a huge success for him and he was being interviewed about his New Yorker essay about the remaining 1960's civil rights leaders. It changed his life, he claimed, and from now on he will devote himself to honorable undertakings. Jesus, what a bunch of claptrap.
The Emperor Platon has no clothes. I find his work to be predictable and banal and his technique of producing Gothic-like imagery is a cover for his lack of vision. Anybody who has achieved the status of being known by only one name has achieved some kind of status in their given world: think of Avedon and Penn, even think of Cher and Bowie, and now Mr. Platon has designated himself to join their ranks.
Sour grapes on my part? I think not because I'm really indifferent to how much success or money he has garnered - what do I care? On one hand I think good for him if he can pull the wool over people's eyes and get away with it. On the other hand, and this is the bit that galls me, how bloody stupid are the people who fall for it and fawn all over him? I can't decide if these Photo Editors and Art Buyers are like lemmings or sheep because there's a slight difference in these two analogies, and they both seem to fit.
Of course, the world has always been as such, hence the story of the Emperor who had no clothes, but I feel it is getting worse. Society produces larger than life people so we mortals have someone and something to aspire to, which is a positive thing after all. It's the self-proclaimed ones who get my goat though.