For his second, slightly more sophisticated style -- one that vaguely recalls Roy Lichtenstein -- Goldman uses retro imagery. A glamorous-looking woman brandishes a cigarette alongside the text "Smoking kills... but at least you look cool." A '50s-style family gathers around the computer for "Internet porn is fun." Barbie's Beauty Salon bears the tagline "We can't make you smart, but at least you'll look good."
Goldman has dabbled in art since his childhood, but it was only when his merchandise designs took off that he realized what he had hit on. Now he re-creates those designs on canvases that sell for thousands and finds himself being likened to Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Kenny Scharf or described as a "post-pop" artist.
"Stupid Factory" is on display through Monday, March 28, at Jack Gallery, Seminole Paradise at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 5919 Seminole Way, Fort Lauderdale, 954-792-4949.
All this might be galling if Goldman were some pretentious poseur, but he's disarmingly self-effacing. He happened to be at Jack Gallery the day I visited, and he seemed surprised and amused at his sudden success as he walked me through his show. He also admitted to a twinge of guilt over the attention he has gotten when many more gifted artists go unnoticed.
It's hard to begrudge Goldman his lucky break, however, especially given that his original ambition was pretty much just to make people laugh. At that, he succeeds spectacularly.