Platon Reveals All for Netflix's 'Abstract'
Since Platon joined the family at B&A we’ve done our best to offer a window into how he works, relating to his subjects and getting imagery unlike anyone else with a camera. But now you can see Platon on a whole new level. As of today, you are invited directly into Platon’s process thanks to a new Netflix series, ‘Abstract: The Art of Design.’ Eight episodes follow eight designers with deep dives into their process, including Platon as one of the subjects
You might not think of photography as a design process, but when an artist is operating at the same level as Platon the work is far more than just pressing the shutter on a camera. “When I started I wasn’t taking pictures I was doing drawings of old people in my village,” Platon says. “My father was a modernist so he would teach me Le Corbusier and strip it down to the core, be honest about your materials. If I’m transferring that to a portrait: don’t cover this up with façade, show it for what it is. It’s going to come through.” Platon’s earliest work with pencils and paper taught him how to design a feeling, and it was his father’s sensibilities that taught him to present what he found and nothing else. Once that’s all blended together into a discipline the result is Platon’s body of work.
Even with a new understanding of how Platon works, he didn’t let us into the process because he wanted to be in front of the camera. On the contrary, he didn’t want it to be about him at all. “I have no interest of me in front of the camera, I have no interest at all,” Platon says. “But where I do have an interest is can I leverage peoples’ interest in me as a storyteller to get other work out there. That’s the bit that excites me about this.” Netflix has a potential reach of 90 million, making it an incredible platform for Platon to spread the stories and messages that he works on every day. “Everything I do is about that. Amplification of the next Martin Luther King, the next Gandhi, the next Mandela. Who are they? And why aren’t we hearing their voices? Why are they getting lose in white noise? And how can I help them as a communicator?” Platon’s work brings those voices forward and Netflix is bringing his voice forward.
“This film is very personal. It talks about me growing up as an immigrant, me dealing with my disability of dyslexia, me dealing with getting attacked on the streets of London and getting put in hospital, and what that does to your personality,” Platon explains. “I’ve never done that with anybody else.” You can get that and more through not only Platon’s episode, but the whole series that exposes the threads of what makes creative minds work and how that translates into the reality around us.
Check for “Abstract: The Art of Design” on Netflix starting today. Platon’s episode is number seven. The rest of the episodes feature artists and designers such as Paula Scher, Christoph Neimann, Tinker Hatfield, Ralph Gilles, Bjarke Ingels, Ilse Crawford, and Es Devlin.