Cey Adams, Departure: 40 Years of Art and Design

This exhibition is currently traveling. 

CEY ADAMS, DEPARTURE: 40 Years of Art and Design is a retrospective of Cey Adams’ illustrious forty-year career as a visionary artist, cultural pioneer, and innovative designer. Born in Harlem and raised in Queens, NY, Cey Adams (American, 1962) honed his art skills painting graffiti on the streets and trains of New York City before moving downtown where street art was leaking into the city’s high- end galleries alongside fellow artists Keith Haring, Jean Michel-Basquiat, Futura, Haze, Lee Quinones, and Lady Pink. Like his Pop Art contemporaries of the time, Adams understood the power of images, media, and advertising – a position that left him uniquely suited to give visual life to a new movement called Hip-Hop.

Cey Adams’ roots as a graffiti artist laid the foundation for his creative vision. Over the next four decades, Adams would go on to create visual identities for some of Hip-Hop’s foundational acts as the founding Creative Director of Def Jam Recordings and establish a robust contemporary fine art practice. This exhibition highlights Adams’ extensive practice, including paintings, mixed media collage, graphic design, typography, logo design, and branding for Hip-Hop album covers, fashion apparel, books and magazines, large-scale murals, and global brand collaborations. With a return to his roots more than a decade ago, Adams explores his evolving art by combining his different disciplines through fine art and mixed media collages. In discovering unique solutions with creative problem solving by using colorful curves, shapes, and letterforms, Cey Adams found his life’s passion and evokes nostalgia while looking deeper into an Americana that is effortlessly authentic.

This exhibition is curated by Liza Quiñonez co-founder of Street Theory and Yutong Shi. Street Theory is an award-winning creative agency that activates communities, spaces, and global brands through street-art, experiential marketing, cultural placemaking, branding and design. An artist-owned agency, founded by Quiñonez and renowned graffiti/ street-artist Marka27, their work has yielded 20 years of experience in large scale public art production, arts administration, art and design direction, exhibitions and special events. They support artists through highest levels of creative expression and strategic planning in the areas of lifestyle, hospitality, retail, real estate, urban planning, and community development, and pride themselves in authentic experiences, bringing art and street culture into all aspects of life and work– from curating and producing events to empowering communities and working with some of today’s most talented and influential artists.

| www.street-theory.com | @streettheorygallery

Previous exhibitions:
Boston University Art Galleries, Boston, MA:
October 4 – December 11, 2022

University of North Texas
College of Visual Art and Design, Denton, TX:
August 22 – December 5, 2023

Yes we are MAD, Dania Beach, FL:
April 6 – May 26, 2024

Interview with RESPECT
UP Magazine
Cityline Interview
Hedenbridge News
BU Today
Southwest Contemporary
Dallas Morning News
CVAD at University of North Texas
Print Magazine
Pure Honey