We had the good fortune of connecting with Carl Baratta and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carl, how do you think about risk?
Being the the art world, particularly the alt scene via collectives, is risky in itself. You pay to do it. It has to be a love situation and be fun otherwise don’t do it: it’s a full time job and on top of your other paying full time job. It’s risky entering this world because there’s so many things to take care of and it could fall apart at a moment’s notice. You have to surround yourself with people you trust and those who trust you, so that each person can take on a piece of each project to bring the best exhibitions to the community.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
“Yes it was very easy” said nobody ever! haha It’s been fun and lots of work and sometimes hard and disappointing too. Being an artist is a lifestyle. Whether I’m in my studio working on new paintings and drawings, or organizing international exchanges between artists and collectives, I am constantly reviewing what I’ve done so that in the future I can do even better. One of the most recent things I’ve learned the hard way is that you really need to pay attention and see people for who they are. They tell you who they are all the time and instead of filling in the blanks with who you want them to be, you have to really pay close attention and keep an open mind because if you do, you can get a sense of how they can be helpful and pitch in and hopefully have some fun. Right now everyone is under extreme pressure and I’ve seen some strange meltdowns (via Zoom) and what I’ve also realized is that we all need to forgive each other if we are going to make it through this. I’m not saying that forgiveness erases what myself or others have done in the past, but forgiveness is the only way forward. Each of us will have to start picking up the pieces when this is all over and we won’t be able to do that if we can’t work together.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love hiking in the Hollywood hills and have found some amazing, beautiful, and quiet places to show people. I also love loud and crazy so certain parts of downtown are fun to explore during the day. The fabric, flower, and fashion districts are among my favorites. LA is a food town and I love just about everything so I like to eat different places and think about which of my friends would love to try it out. My friend loaned me a copy of the book, “Secret Stairs” by Charles Fleming. I’ve begun exploring his suggestions around the county and many of them lead you on unexpected walking tours of LA. Like food, I think about my friends and family and which ones would enjoy which walking tours. As for hangouts, my favorite is opening night at The Bendix where all our collectives are. We can’t do that right now but one day we will be back and it shall be glorious!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’ve been very fortunate to have such caring friends and family who have supported me throughout my crazy life. Our collective downtown and many of the others we coordinate openings with are all very supportive of each other and I miss seeing them in person during the pandemic.
Facebook: Carl Baratta
Other: Check out my latest international exchange featuring 40 + galleries, 20 from LA and 20 from Berlin here: https://www.b-la-connect.org/ This is a link to our national collective: www.tigerstrikesasteroid.com
“Outrank The Furnace: A Musical” Resin and Acrylic Tempera & Watercolor on Paper 16.5×13.5″ 2018