Derrick Adams’ Art Mixes Things Up

Derrick Adams’ artwork spans painting, collage, sculpture, performance, video, and sound installations. Born in Baltimore, and currently based in Brooklyn, New York his work explores questions about the African American identity, and how African American experiences intersect with art history, American iconography, and consumerism.

“I’ll always admire black American artists before me who maintained a steady practice, even when no one was giving them the coverage they deserved,” Adams told Interview Magazine.

His pieces are often very much layered – a hybrid and collage not only of images and materials but also of different types of sensory experiences. “When I’m in a space that has restraints, or conditions that will not allow me to operate in the way that I operated last week, I think of the work not as art-making, but as a form of therapy,” he says.

His multidisciplinary practice engages the ways in which individuals’ ideals, aspirations, and personae become attached to specific objects, colors, textures, symbols, and ideologies. But being a multidisciplinary artist also means that his work has a fluidity to it. “As the work becomes more stable, I move on to something else,” he admits. “I want to be immersed in what I’m doing, and when you’re unfamiliar with it, you become more present.”

Take a look at some of his work in the gallery below: