• Pennants by Derrick Adams 2012

    A pop up featuring a collection of wearable pieces by multidisciplinary visual artist Derrick Adams set in a responsive display environment by industrial designer Michael Chuapoco.

    In his latest sculptural project Derrick Adams seeks to combine the historical references of Marcus Garvey and the Black Star Line as a fashion concept with a constructed aesthetic and visual point of view of an academic and collegiate persona. This romantic revision of Garveyism is adapted and re-imagined as a mainstream urban fashion movement.

    Garveyism reemerged in mainstream urban fashion in the 90′s with the introduction of black fashion companies like FUBU (For Us By Us), Spike Lee’s 40 Acres and a Mule, and Cross Colours. These fashion labels made their impact in media culture alongside television programs such as Fresh Prince of Bel Air, The Cosby Show and its spinoff A Different World.

    A Different World was an NBC sitcom set in a fictitious HBCU (Historical Black College or University) called HILLMAN, and portrayed the black college life and eclectic styles of its students. There is a dual meaning in the program’s title and theme song, It’s a Different World (Where I Come From), it refers not only to a young adult being away from home but also to notions of an alternate state of being in a place that is culturally unfamiliar.

    This time was instrumental in cultivating a new self image through the standard American model of commercial marketing strategy. This movement projected an alternative image that contrasted other constructs from the media that were perceived as the norm of previous decades: Sanford and Son, Good Times, What’s Happening, etc.

    The subtitle A Dream Deferred, A Dream Fulfilled is inspired by a poem by Langston Hughes and a speech by Martin Luther King Jr. Both are driving forces behind the concept for the exhibition.

    There is a strong reference to the origin of David Hammons’ African American Flag as a Nationalist symbol for the intellectual Black American and his/her experience as a citizen. Also implied is the cultural transference of historical content by placing symbolic iconography onto everyday objects. This idea of historical contribution illustrates how culture, fashion and criticism in contemporary society can respond to social structure in a way that hints of Russian Constructivism.

    Adams’ practice is rooted in Deconstructivist philosophies and the perception of ideals attached to objects. His work focuses on the fragmentation and manipulation of structure and surface while exploring the shape-shifting force of popular culture.

    Learning functions as both subject and object in his work, which derives from impressionable experiences associated with iconography from American culture, educational television programming, and the institutional critique in contemporary art.

    Shedding light on persuasive, performative and often duplicitous identities, as well as on architectural objects and iconography, the work he creates reflects the relationship between man and monument as they coexist in the landscape as representations of one another.

    Derrick Adams is a multidisciplinary New York-based artist. He received his MFA from Columbia University, a BFA from Pratt Institute, and is an alumnus of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and the Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program. His exhibition and performance highlights include: BAM’s Next Wave Festival, MoMA PS1, PERFORMA 05, Brooklyn Museum, The Kitchen NYC, Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He is the recipient of a 2009 Louis Comfort Tiffany Award and an honored finalist for the 2011 William H. Johnson Prize.

    Michael Chuapoco is an industrial designer and artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. He received his Bachelors of Industrial Design (BID) from Pratt Institute in 2009. He has exhibited work at BKLYN DESIGNS (2009), Studio Museum in Harlem (2009), Third+Bond design showhouse (Brooklyn NY 2010), Take a Seat at IMM Cologne (Cologne, Germany 2010) and DIFFA’s Dining by Design (NYC 2011). He currently works as a designer at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

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