FEATURE: Atlanta-based artist and musician Goldi Gold translates hip-hop and R&B into portrait illustrations
By Eye Candy
April 25, 2016
Graphic designer? Yes.
Mega-talented illustrator? Oh definitely.
Hip hop artist? Well, not really.
But with an artistic style so vibrant and undeniably urban you can’t help but hear Erykah Badu, a Tribe Called Quest or Outkast playing in the background, and that’s exactly how Goldi Gold likes it. “When it comes to my art, it’s definitely about feelings,” said Gold. “Anybody can draw, but you have to be able to bring the breath of life to a piece if you want someone to feel it.”
The Newark, NJ native relocated to the A-T-L in 1994 just as hip hop had taken saturated the music scene with a vengeance. So while aficionados were busy soaking up all of the Nas, Outkast and Organized Konfusion they could get their hands on, Gold was plotting his emergence onto the Atlanta art scene.
“Back in the day, art was directly connected to hip hop music,” said Gold. “Back then when you got the music or a CD like with Organized Confusion you also got the art…it just came together like that.” A self-proclaimed old school junkie, Gold confesses to blasting hip hop hard when he’s working on a piece. Artists like Rakim, Kool G Rap and Big Daddy Kane are constantly on his play list as he strives to bring life to every piece he creates.
“The interpretation of their words wanted you to visually see it,” said Gold. “Their concepts and their delivery told stories that automatically caused you to visualize whatever they were rapping about.” According to Gold, that same connectivity is what he strives for in each of his pieces, as he continues to juggle his passion for art with the realities of his 9-to-5. “Whatever time I give them [referring to his employer], I give myself twice as much because that’s my passion right here,” said Gold. “I work on my art before work and after work because I feel like if it’s something you really want to do, you’ll make time.”
By LaJenine Wilson*, AFROPUNK contributor
Word by LaJenine Wilson
Artwork by Goldie Gold
Feature pitch by Raymond Hagans