The Olympics is certainly causing a buzz in London and everyone seems to be getting involved. However, one unlikely character has turned sport into art at this colourful exhibition on display in the foyer of plush Cumberland Hotel. Goldie (aka Clifford Price) is better known for his drum n’ bass music and appearances on reality TV shows such as Celebrity Big Brother. But here he’s turned his hand to visual art by combining street style with images of athletes in action, spray-painting a collection of startling works that are difficult to ignore.
The subjects range from Olympic gold cycling medallist Victoria Pendleton, to everyone’s favourite diver Tom Daley, alongside the likes of paralympian Shelly Woods and hurdler William Sharman. These stencilled images are colourfully saturated against a vivid pandemonium of splashes and spots of paint. Goldie’s use of colour is what grabs your attention whilst the finesse of Britain’s finest are what hold you there.
Where Goldie’s work excels is in his use of lines, either curved or straight, to suggest movement. These lines augment the latent dynamism in the image giving it an unstoppable sense of action only matched by its blinding array of colour. Particularly clever is where he has literally jigsawed several pieces of prepared wood together to create these lines. The results are pieces that are kaleidoscopes of vigour and bustle.
However the more static images unfortunately don’t quite live up to their more dynamic counterparts. For example, Goldie’s ferocious portrait of Pendleton in the throngs of a sprint really upstage works like Daley in mid-dive. Despite the exciting colours these works end up as motionless as the original image itself. Try as he might, Goldie has not been able to add any additional sense of flair beyond a tantrum of tints making them feel more like glitzy fetishism in comparison to the high octane inspiration touted elsewhere.
But the exhibition is still worth your time for the few that do astound, and if you’re lucky and financially endowed enough you could even own one or several of the pieces as they’re available to buy.
Athleticizm is on display at the Cumberland Hotel, London, W1H 7DL, until 12 August 2012. Admission is free. For more information about the exhibition, please visit www.guoman.com. For more information about purchasing a work, please contact [email protected]