James Goldcrown took a somewhat circuitous path to the art world. Beginning his career in fashion photography early, ducking out to produce an important HIV/AIDS documentary, and returning to the studio scene in 2007. In the meantime, he had found a new avenue of creative expression in street art during the ‘90s — and it wasn’t long before it all merged together. Goldcrown has since gone on to show at fairs and galleries around the world, and pursue a robust brand-collaboration career and a prolific mural practice, all based on his signature Bleeding Hearts motif. We caught up with him on his way home from Art Basel Miami — and on his way to show at this January’s 4xFAR Festival in Coachella.
L.A. WEEKLY: When did you first know you were an artist?
JAMES GOLDCROWN: I don’t think I ever knew. It’s something I’ve always done. I don’t really remember not being one.
What is your short answer to people who ask what your work is about?
Love and loss.
What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist?
I’d like to think a chef. I love cooking and food in general. It’s another passion.
Did you go to art school?
Not really, I tried but didn’t like it. School wasn’t for me. I left when I was 16.
Why do you live and work in L.A., and not elsewhere?
I live in L.A. because my wife is a lawyer and she studied the Californian Bar. We also have a son so it’s where we’re based for those reasons. I travel a lot and with my work I have the luck of being able to live anywhere. I feel like I live in L.A., NYC and London.
When was your first show?
I think I was 19 or 18 so like, 1998. I’m old.
When is/was your current/most recent/next show?
Just gone, Miami Art Basel 2019.
What artist living or dead would you most like to show with?
Hmmmm, Edward Hopper comes to mind and I don’t know why. His work is calming to me.
Do you listen to music while you work? If so what?
I do. I listen to Pandora on shuffle, basically most types of music — apart from techno and death metal.
Website and social media, please!