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Ray Goldsbrough

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Moto GP and Formula 1. Or man territory as it’s better known. Second only to being a rider/driver, is being an artist who creates life-like painting of the stunning bikes/cars, surely? Although a motorsport photographer/journalist might duke it out with an artist for that honour come to think of it. Either way, being up THAT close and THAT personal with the superbike and F1 machinery, amid all the glamour and excitement would make any petrolhead delirious in our book. One such man who’s made it his career to be in amongst the thrills and spills of high octane motorsport over the years is leading is mackem motorsport fine artist extraordinaire, Ray Goldsbrough. Mackem being a colloquial name for those born and raised on the banks of the River Wear in Sunderland, found on the North East coast of England. Much in the same way a native of regional rivals, Newcastle-upon-Tyne is equally affectionately referred to as a Geordie. Anyway, this is an artist profile rather than a geography lesson, so to Goldsbrough.

Born in Sunderland, Goldsbrough attended the city’s School of Art and Industrial Design, and after graduating he secured roles as both an illustrator and graphic artist for the next three decades without a break. However after dedicating thirty years of his professional career to relatively structured and disciplined design briefs and projects, Goldsbrough grew tired of being a slave to the commercial art wage, and instead arrived at the conclusion that he would mix things up a little. Mixing it up as such translated as becoming a full-time painter, an idea, dare we say it, dream, whichGoldsbrough had harboured for a period of time, as opposed to it being a flash in the pan notion.

Courtesy of his lengthy career to date, Goldsbrough had compiled an impressive black book of contacts, many of whom were more than willing to support his vocational about-turn and back his new venture by commissioning him to fulfil a variety of bespoke artistic works. In no time whatsoever, Goldsbrough built up a reputation for originating and creating sterling illustrative compositions to order, manifest predominantly in watercolour and/or gouache in terms of materials. The more Goldsbrough painted, obviously the greater his skillset became, as he quickly established an enviable collection/back catalogue of paintings, executed in a diverse selection of genres.

Despite completing commissions in this variety of styles and not adhering strictly to one particular house style, it was inevitable that Goldsbrough – like the majority of artists – would happen upon a design language that would be later acknowledged as their default setting; or become synonymous with in a broader context. For Goldsbrough that was to be the arena of motorsports, as more than alluded to in the intro above, and over the course of a handful of successive years, the artist developed a passion for this specific genre, and a talent to match the visual promise. It wasn’t long before Goldsbrough was knocking out stunning compositional pieces centring on racing vehicles, captured in mid-transit out on a track or circuit, or at pivotal times in a race meeting per se. guaranteed that it would nearly always be at the cutting edge, and cementing the thick of the action.

In 1995, and not that long after he’d bode farewell to the design industry, Goldsbrough started gaining the plaudits and racking up the kudos for his lavishly detailed, motorsport-featuring pictorial studies. This eventually led to one of the UK’s leading art publishers beating a path to Goldsbrough’s studio door, complete with a contract to be signed. Once he’d obligingly produced a painting of superbike legend, Carl Fogarty for both prosperity and as some kind of visual copy test it sounds like in retrospect. Since that point, Goldsbrough has seen countless more limited editions published in collaboration with his publishers, all of which depict household names providing immensely graphical canvas thrill and spills; including Formula One’s Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton, as well as Moto GP’s Valentino Rossi to name but three iconic examples. Many of whom lent their signature to Goldsbrough’s finest illustrative hours. From then on there was no stopping Goldsbrough, who found his work gaining exposure and being circulated extensively not just here in the UK, but also distributed far and wide globally. What’s more, Goldsbrough’s individual works and collections have been the subject of several UK exhibitions, whilst the hugely popular artist is a FATG Finalist to boot.