Cey Adams, “Pop Revolution”
April 14th – June 8th, 2018
Cey Adams, celebrated fine artist and legendary art director of Def Jam Records, will bring his evocative and political collage works to the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art (HVCCA) in a solo exhibition. “Pop Revolution” is a celebration of nostalgia that both idealizes and problematizes American consumerism. By shaping contemporary ephemera into recognizable brand logos, Cey Adams literally layers meanings onto his work, inviting the viewer to examine their own relationship to the iconic brands that have shaped our culture.
“I’ve always had a fascination with Pop Art and brand identity,” Cey explained. “My recent paintings invite the viewer to re-examine familiar symbols of traditional American values, hopefully sparking dialogue that leads to communication and a better understanding of who we are.”
Cey Adams, a New York City native, emerged from the downtown graffiti movement to exhibit alongside fellow artists Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. He appeared in the historic 1982 PBS documentary Style Wars which tracks subway graffiti in New York. As the Creative Director of hip hop mogul Russell Simmons’ Def Jam Recordings, he co-founded the Drawing Board, the label’s in-house visual design firm, where he created visual identities, album covers, logos, and advertising campaigns for Run DMC, Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Notorious B.I.G., Maroon 5, and Jay-Z. He exhibits, lectures and teaches art workshops at institutions including: MoMA, Brooklyn Museum, Museum of the City of New York, New York University, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Walker Art Center, MoCA Los Angeles, Pratt Institute, Stamford University, Howard University, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, High Museum, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Mount Royal University and The University of Winnipeg in Canada. He co-authored DEFinition: The Art and Design of Hip-Hop, published by Harper-Collins; and designed Def Jam Recordings: The First 25 Years of the Last Great Record Label, published by Rizzoli.