Son of Wynwood Visionary Tony Goldman on his Galaxy-Inspired Paintings
For Joey Goldman, art runs in the family. The businessman-turned-painter was born into an art-collecting New York family in 1972, but he only started exploring his own creative potential while suffering through a period of grief following the death of his father, the arts-focused urban developer Tony Goldman. Joey reinvented himself as Gold Man, a Miami-based artist who explores human existence and the larger context of life on earth. His ethereal new collection of works, known as the “Galaxy” series, is on view at Avant Gallery. We caught up with the artist to hear about his upbringing in Soho, the celestial themes of his work, and his family’s connection to Miami’s Wynwood Walls.
Artsy: There’s a celestial theme to your latest collection of paintings. Can you tell us about this?
Gold Man: I have always thought about the galaxy having limitless possibilities and being the ultimate big picture. The galaxy is the perfect way to describe how I look at things: keeping things in perspective by looking at the endless space and constant changing world we live in.
Artsy: As a native New Yorker who now lives and works in Miami, how has your work been influenced by these two art scenes?
Gold Man: Growing up in Soho in the early 1980s gave me a chance to experience art. My parents were collectors of art. Through them, I was able to see art on every level, from Andy Warhol to Keith Haring to the local artist who lived in the loft around the corner. Soho in the early ’80s was like Wynwood in the early 2000’s. In both places, it’s the inside that’s important to artists—big spaces, high ceilings, windows, the human scale of the buildings and the light that it affords—not the view outside. Soho spoke to that, and later Wynwood. The difference in Wynwood is the sun and light.
Artsy: Can you tell us about your family’s connection to the Wynwood Walls? Where does your work overlap with the graffiti and street art tradition that’s being forged there?
Gold Man: We bought the property that is now known as the Wynwood Walls. We saw a blank canvas, and decided that street art need to be made public, needed to have a safe home. It was never about the money. It was about sharing and exposing the art to the public and elevating these great artists with the exposure and respect they deserved. I never really thought about putting my own art on the Wynwood Walls, as I didn’t want to be self-serving, and I felt that I was still in the developing stages of my career and it wouldn’t be appropriate. Maybe at some point that will happen, when I feel the time is right.
Artsy: You’ve said you’re interested in both realism and fantasy—is the “Galaxy” series a manifestation of one or the other, or a combination of both?
Gold Man: I see the world having a balance between fantasy and reality. The galaxy pieces evolved into paintings of many layers of sparkle dust...they could represent the real galaxy, or they could be beautiful mysterious galaxies of the viewer’s imagination.
Artsy: Your father’s death motivated you to start painting. Can you comment on grief or human suffering as a source of artistic inspiration?
Gold Man: My father’s death definitely had an impact on my painting. I had worked side by side with him in both real estate and the art world for over twenty years. When he passed away, I wanted to reinvent myself. I explored my other talents and abilities by focusing on my art with no other distractions for a year. I immersed myself in the creative process. experimenting with color and texture and composition. As a result the “Galaxy” series was born.