Brooklyn, NY USA
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. Adams served as Creative Director for Hip-Hop mogul Russell Simmons’ Def Jam Recordings, where he co-founded the Drawing Board, the label’s in-house visual design firm, creating 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: The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, MoMA, Brooklyn Museum, Museum of the City of New York, New York University, Temple University, Walker Art Center, MoCA Los Angeles, Pratt Institute, Stanford University, Howard University, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, High Museum, Brooklyn Academy of Music, among others. 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.
Adams draws inspiration from 60’s pop art, vintage sign painting and comics. His work focuses on themes including pop culture, brand identity, cultural and community issues. He recently collaborated with Apple, Levi’s, Foot Locker, Converse, Pabst Blue Ribbon and Google.