Continuing our Footpatrol Discussions series for 2023, we kick things off with artist, Joe Goldman.
Art is something that’s been deep rooted within the sneaker culture from the very beginning. Along with music and film, art is another form of expression just like how we see sneakers when paired with an outfit for example. It’s this expression that first grabbed our attention to Joe’s work. Colourful yet expressive, crazy yet thoughtful, his work is a range of mediums to create these stunning canvas’. Having caught our eyes on multiple occasions over the last few years, we caught up with the self-taught artist to learn more about him, his artwork and how his mood determines his craft.
Take a closer look below as we get up close to these intricate pieces.
Footpatrol: Hi Joe, hope you’re well, thank you for taking the time to speak to us, if you could please tell us a bit about yourself and the work you produce?
Joe Goldman: Hi, thanks for coming down. I am a self taught artist with a background in graffiti as well as illustration. I paintabstract pieces with elements of digital and graphic aesthetics. The work also focuses on depicting the duality of the mind and the heart. Through variation in the mark making and textures, there’s an interplay between impulsive expression and more analytical decisions. In recent years I have developed an interest in meditation and ways of exploring different states of consciousness. This has made its way into my work, through embracing flow states, and the intention to express a sense of oneness and unity in each piece. I want to invite the viewer into a world where marks and colours represent a range of ideas, thoughts, feelings and energies. A sort of organised chaos.
FP: Something I can’t quite put my finger on, is trying to work out what artists (if any) inspire you, your work is very individual, or do you draw influence from a totally different theme?
JG: Alongside my intention to incorporate mindfulness and the exploration of consciousness into my art, I definitely am inspired by other artists. Picasso is quoted as saying ‘good artists borrow, great artists steal’. Stealing ideas and then transforming, remixing, melding them. I definitely pick up ideas from all manner of sources, whether consciously, ie: the colour palettes of colourist Francis Cadell, compositional ideas from Kandinsky, Frank Stella and Tomma Abts, paint drips and beautiful textures created by Fiona Rae, to name just a few of my art heroes. I also recognise that my work is subconsciously influenced by a culmination of life experiences; childhood trips to the National Gallery with my grandma, Lego building, the science museum, video games, a love of graffiti, a fascination with light installations, sci-fi films, the complicated relationship that we have with the internet and screens. Inspiration is everywhere. Most recently my work is inspired by technology; software tools that can be used to manipulate my (analog) ideas into previously unimagined images in a creative back and forth dialogue.
FP: Can you elaborate on positive and negative space for us?
JG: There’s an idea that I first came across in still life drawing at school, that objects, which can be called positive space exist, within a space, often called negative space, essentially the background. And while negative space might not draw the eye as strongly as the objects of focus, it is essential to frame and give meaning the object. Whether by cramping, and constraining, or giving breathing space. For example imagine a painting of a single bird flying in a clear sky; our tendency is to notice and study the bird, but it’s the sky space that gives us the sense of scale, and majestic nature of flight. If we cropped the picture just to show the bird, we would lose much of the meaning and power in the original image. In my work I am conscious about maintaining a balance in this sense, and always look to have areas where the eye can rest, and then pick out a few smaller areas of focus.
FP: I’ve seen you mention about how your mood may determine the outcome of your art, are there any other factors that have a significant effect on how an initial concept might look different to the final piece.
JG: Hmm. I’d say that from concept to piece there aren’t great changes, but in developing the concept there is an evolutionary process. I will often come up with an idea one day, and feel pretty psyched about it. Then two days later I’ll see lots of problems, so I have to make changes. If a week can go by, and it stands the test of time, then it’ll survive. At some point you have to let go of the idea of imperfection and decide a piece is finished, as expressed by Leonardo Da Vinci; ‘art is never finished, only abandoned.’
FP: How is embracing the use of Pink going? One thing I love about your work is it seems you manage to find a home for every colour in spectrum to live in your work.
JG: Thanks, that means a lot! I have struggled in the past with using colour effectively. I try to be inclusive and mix colours that don’t usually go together. Ratios are everything. Pink is used sparingly, but it can be a very powerful colour!
FP: As we enter 2023, what will be the driving force for you and your work? Are there new elements you want to start to introduce or even elements that you would like to take out?
JG: It’s a bit early to tell, but to keep pushing myself and showing up and putting the time in. And learning to embrace uncertainty more. I think there’s a bit of a myth around art that inspiration suddenly arrives and work pours out like a tsunami and then recedes forcing us to wait. In reality I have found that like most things it’s time and effort put in equals progress. I would like to introduce more textural elements in my painting, and experiment with different materials.
FP: Are there any shows that people can come to in 2023 an see your works up close?
JG: I will be updating my website and Instagram soon with upcoming shows, so check that out; Joegoldmanstudio.co.uk and Instagram. Currently I’m building up a body of new work which I’m excited about.
FP: Thank you for taking the time to chat to us Joe, it’s been a pleasure to see your work irl, are there any words of wisdom you wish to bestow on the readers?
JG: Thanks for visiting, and featuring me, it’s been a pleasure.
Something that affects many of us, and in particular creative types, is perfectionism. It’s something that really affected me in my earlier years of art making, and that I have worked through a lot . It’s a sneaky state of mind because it seems right and admirable to want to be perfect in what we do! But in reality what we are doing in this state is trying to create something that will be liked by everyone, which is at its core pretty much impossible. We cannot know what others will truly love, and even if we could then a hundred voices with a hundred different tastes offer us no clear path forward. Perfectionism holds us back. On a deeper level we are also denying our own desires. There’s an alternative, and in my view much healthier way forward. We listen to our instincts, pursue and make things that we want to see in the world, and accept our imperfection .The world’s a big place, and there will be others that resonate with our voice.