Derrick Adams, ‘Plaything #2’, 2002/2016, The Kitchen

Courtesy of the Artist.

In Plaything #2, Derrick Adams explores the visual construction of black femininity. Placed in profile against a dark background, a figurine is adorned with a gilded dress and leopard print handbag–at once individualized and anonymous. Investigating stereotypical representations of blackness produced for a mass market, Adams has stated, “It’s hard to look at the black figure and the black body without thinking about consumerism. Our self-expression, our coolness–everything can be a commodity. I’m interested in making people more aware of the construct of media and how it plays a part in the way we see ourselves, in the way we interact with each other, in the way that we see value.” –Courtesy of The Kitchen

Framed, framed dimensions: 12.75 x 12.75 inches.

Signature: Verso

Image rights: Courtesy of the Artist and The Kitchen.

About Derrick Adams

In a diverse practice that spans collage, sculpture, performance, drawing, and video, Derrick Adams explores the force of popular culture in our lives and plays with perception in relation to objects and texts. Rooted in deconstructivist philosophies, Adams’s work focuses on the fragmentation and manipulation of structure and surface. He frequently reconfigures familiar objects; for one series he updated mass-produced African figurines, turning them into superhero-like icons. “Most of my work resides in this idea of how outside influences impact the construction of self-image,” he has said. His series "Deconstruction Worker" includes 100 pieces that examine the construction of the figure and image, including collaged profiles of heads composed of mashed-up elements that suggest architectural floorplans.

American, b. 1970, based in New York, New York