About The Artist

Eric Platt

Artist, Photographer, Computer Programmer, Horticulturalist, Nature & Plant Lover, Writer.
Artist's Statement:

Simply put, art is about evoking feelings — not emotions, but deeper feelings, of "the Beloved" if you will. An instanateous, wordless recognition or revelation, so to speak. If it doesn't do that, if it's made merely by being clever, it's not real art. I'm a traditionalist in the sense that I want my art to be beautiful. If I can resonate, capture, evoke that powerful inner feeling quality in a VISION, then it's "good art".

Painting and photography enhance each other. And they both help artist and viewer see the world in new and deeper ways.

I express and explore my passion and vision through art, writing, photography, conversation, gardening, and inventing...

All great artists are explorers.

I believe painters have only scratched the surface of realism.

After about 15 years of doing abstract paintings, and then six years of working with photography, I came in a roundabout way to a sudden revitalization of interest in painting. This was sparked after seeing realist oil paintings that produced the look of clouds I was creating with infrared photography.

I have found that realist painting can go beyond photography in vitality, point of view, liveliness, imaginativeness, flexibility, and expressing more of oneself. I found a love and strong affinity for oil painting. It is endlessly fascinating. Although it is hard work, I enjoy the process as well as the research, the materials and techniques and many other dimensions that relate to the work.


I coined the term "Pararealism" to denote the fact that realism in painting has many more dimensions than what is ordinarily considered "realistic" (such as in the supposed objective representationalism of a photograph). The term "pararealism" also points to the fact of going beyond photorealism (“post” or “neo-photorealism” are cumbersome words and not as suggestive!). It is my view that realism, impressionism and abstraction all blend into each other in the reality of a painting, and these categories and terms are more present in the mind, as useful categories for discussion, than as realities in the world. However, nothing is set in stone, and my art is an exploration, in thought and action, of these worlds of vision, light, feeling and representation.

Pararealism, from the Greek root "para" for "beyond or around" means going beyond reality, like the original impressionists who wanted to go beyond the static idealisms of the official Salon school status quo. It is my understanding that the impressionists wanted to capture the play of light and explore the optical effects of painted color as well as the subjective emotional conveyance. Pararealism also is about seeing and expressing what is seen, but takes its cues from many more modes of painting than impressionism, including but not limited to photorealism and the Old Masters. These are all still available to the painter.

One artistic mode, “ism”, or style does not replace another as creations about the "truth" of what is seen as reality do in science; rather they are all additive. We can build on what others in the past have learned. We can safely ignore the modernist demand to throw the past away in the name of pure innovation. True innovation depends on the past, but lives in the present, with an eye towards the future.

Art is divergent: it does not try to hone in on The Truth for the future, like religion and science attempt to do, but instead the growth of art-culture is akin to the growth and evolution of life, ever increasing in depth, complexity and diversity. Beauty, Truth and Goodness are not trends of fashion or -isms, or static idealistic absolutes, but ever-living forms, reflective of the ineffable wellsprings of light, love and truth from the core of life, from which all draw on in the present.

"In art, if not in politics, it is often the conservatives who are the most revolutionary.” - Andrew Lambirth

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all art and science."
— Albert Einstein




Platt has been making art since childhood, coming from a creative family that includes a father and brother that were architects and a sister and mother that were artists. He draws on many traditions and sources of inspiration for his art. The world around him serves as an endless source of visual wonder.

Platt is also an accomplished photographer, with two exhibits of his work to his credit so far in San Diego. His photographic inspires and informs his work. He says “Painting and photography enhance each other. And they both help artist and viewer see the world in new and deeper ways.”

An artist known in the past for his innovative infrared photographic art and beautifully inventive abstract acrylic work, recently Platt has become intrigued with the more traditional craft of oil painting and realism.

Platt has a B. A. from the University of California, San Diego in Philosophy and Art History, and currently resides in the historic South Park/Golden Hills area of San Diego. He is primarily a self-taught painter but has taken instruction with the well-known colorist Patricia Patterson and the highly accomplished realist André Rushing. Platt's art can be found in private collections in Europe and North America.

Recent artistic influences include European realists and impressionists such as Vermeer and Sorolla, the photorealists such as Robert Estes, as well as recent California artists like Wayne Thiebaud and James Doolin. Non-Western art, among other influences, was a source of inspiration for his abstract works in the 80’s and 90’s.




E.P. 6/'07 edited 10/09Just edited the "About" section of



© Eric Platt 2007