arthead sf

arthead sf blog was created to bring readers the meaning behind the art. These are not critiques or interviews with artists. Each feature is written entirely by the artist, revealing only what they feel and want readers to know about the featured piece. If you see a piece of art you'd like to know the meaning me. And subscribe to my blog below to get updates when new features are posted!


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Bradley Platz

"Charon and the Shades"
Give me a gold and I'll give you paradise
24 x 48
Oil on Canvas

"This is a recently finished painting I created for an upcoming exhibition entitled "Modern Myths". The premise of the show is that thirteen artists have randomly chosen a mythological figure and a modern pop-culture icon; the task is to create a painting that combines the two. I pulled Nicole Ritchie and Charon, the ferryman on the river Styx. He was the mythological old man who took the souls of the dead across the river into Hades, provided that they had a gold coin to pay for passage. Historically, among the wealthier classes a gold coin was nearly always placed under the tongue of the departed for this reason.

The painting depicts Nicole Ritchie, (as a general symbol for the modern celebrity and wealth) on the boat with Charon. She is represented dry and emaciated, having little physical beauty left but a wealth of gold which, ironically, is pouring out of her mouth in a familiar cathartic expulsion. The "shades" or souls trapped in purgatory are swarming the boat, these are souls with no money for Charon, eternally stranded on the shores of the Styx. The painting represents celebrity privilege as the continuation of the aristocratic privileges that have extended back to the time of myths and gods (plural).

Give me a gold and I'll give you paradise.
The Modern Myths exhibition is being held in April at MJ Higgins gallery in Los Angeles (opening on April 7th) and also in May at the Gray Area Gallery in San Francisco (opening May 4th). For more information about this event please check out:

For more of my work please visit my website at:

By Bradley Platz

A little about Bradley:
Bradley Platz studied painting at The San Francisco Art Institute and San Francisco State University. He has shown his work in New York City, Montreal, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose. He is 25 years old and currently living and exhibiting in San Francisco and beyond.


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