Goldie Interview: New Solo Art Show 'Lostribes', Reinvention And Those Famous Gold Teeth

Goldie Interview: New Solo Art Show 'Lostribes', Reinvention And Those Famous Gold Teeth

Goldie appears to be a broken man.

Unsettled and restless, the music pioneer, artist and television personality shifts around uncomfortably on the sofa of the hotel lobby for a meeting with HuffPost. He quickly explains the reason - a sleepless night with this two-year-old daughter, who is in the midst of teething problems.

The fog of insomnia lifts as Goldie warms up with his latest artistic endeavour: Lostribes, his solo art show featuring 20 painted portraits made of wood, exploring man's artistic roots and cultural heritage.

Apache Girl, fromLostribes

This latest rung on Goldie's lofty career ladder is giving the artist plenty of creative contentment: "I'm happy with Lostribes, I feel proud looking at it … I'm approaching 50 and I have kids in school, I've done my university of the street."

Goldie has certainly 'done' his time in more than one career: starting out as a street artist in his youth, rising to recognition as a drum and bass pioneer and becoming a familiar face with television appearances on 'EastEnders', 'Big Brother' and 'Strictly Come Dancing', not forgetting his Bond villain turn in 'The World Is Not Enough'.

With the Lostribes tag line of 'Reinvention Is Everything', Goldie has not allowed pigeon-holing to hold him back.

"I've done what every successful ghetto kid does: gets up, falls on his arse, falls over, gets married, gets divorced, loses loads of money, then reinvents himself. Tell me that story hasn't happened thousands of times before."

Having conducted his way through 'Maestro' in 2010, Goldie mentored the emerging musical talent of young people in 2011's 'Goldie's Band: By Royal Appointment'. "I think art, music and yoga keeps you young, keeps your mind right. That's what makes us age - when we're not allowed to do what we want to do."

Goldie has been balancing Lostribes with his music work - DJing at gigs, coming home and sometimes staying up all night painting - back-to-back creativity.

Skulpture (left) and Life and Death (right), from Lostribes.

One of the pieces from the collections shows an African child looking apprehensively to the viewer. The art seems to shout of lost children and the neglected youth of today.

With music used as a frequent comparison when explaining his art, it seems that Lostribes contains a significant part of Goldie's identity as a man who overcame a troubled childhood.

"Hip hop, in its very humble beginnings, was kids on corners sitting there with lino, doing break dancing and graffiti - a type of lost tribe. You could say that a kid from Hackney, a kid from Birmingham, a kid from South America, they're just street kids who are doing art."

So was Goldie once a metaphorical lost tribe member expressing himself through art?

"My upbringing was about abandonment issues and being misunderstood," he says. "Since the age of three I've been recorded in some way, starting with social services, 'Big Brother', 'Strictly Come Dancing' - my life has been documented very well."

Goldie talks about his troubled past with ease, the subject matter of many previous interviews. Put into care as a toddler, he spent his young years in children's homes. "People who have had traumatic upbringings tend to be more creative," he muses.

When talking about the robust and permanent nature of his wooden lacquered art pieces he appears to discover a psychological connection: "Somebody spilt an aerosol can - it exploded on some of my work. Instead of going 'oh fuck, its gone'. I wiped it off, sanded it down, and re-lacquered it - it was brand new, because it's completely encapsulated. Maybe this is a Freudian thing in my head where I want to encapsulate the art, so that it's tangible as a time pod?"

With its use of woodwork and sculpture, Lostribes is more time travel then frozen time, thanks to some 'Superstition' and extra-terrestrial help: "I've gone full circle, I started in sculpture in my O Level. I did a Stevie Wonder bust and an 'Aliens' head."

"I remember my first year at secondary school, I was given some blocks of wood that were light and dark. I stuck them together and cut out a shape and sanded the edges down. Lostribes is like going back to that thought of wood, to my first experience of handicraft. We all get smells from the past: your first cigarette, first visit to the movies."

Manani, from Lostribes

Goldie's cycle of art appears to be giving him the creative bliss he has always craved.

So will we still be seeing him dabbling in the entertainment industry - fox-trotting across our screens again in 'Strictly Come Dancing'?

"Maybe Strictly was a bad idea… it was good fucking money though... If I want to put on a silly shirt and get £100,000 in the bank for my kids then I don't care, I don't give a fuck. The entertainment industry goes to show [that] I'm first in, first out. There's no place for me there. Maybe there's a place for me in the history archives as being an artist. "

Does he keep up with the past ventures of his showbiz CV? I ask about 'EastEnders': what does he think about the soap's newest recruit Danny Dyer?

"I actually don't give a fuck. We always called him Straight-to-DVD-Danny-Dyer. Everything he does is with a 'D'. 'Danny Dyer with Dangerous Dogs and Dinosaurs in Dulwich with Doughnuts.' Take away the 'D' element and he's finished."

Goldie wouldn't be Goldie without his signature mouth of shiny gold. Metal 'grills' have been splashed across the celeb pages, adorned by the likes of Rita Ora, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Madonna. Are they all copying Goldie, the Mr Original?

"Everybody did gold teeth [when I was] in Miami. My gold teeth are not a big deal. [They] were as common as wearing a pair of Adidas trainers or Nikes. Celebrities have been following me, following me in a really bad way."

Of course, it all comes back to art, even on the subject of celebrity gold teeth: "I like working with gold, it's the purest alchemy.

"Melting gold is such a turn on - this highly chromatic surface starts darting like mercury."

Lostribes is open to the public from Nov 14 until Nov 24 at Mead Carney, London.

Watch Goldie talk about Lostribes:

Goldie's Solo Art Show 'Lostribes'


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