Art Production Fund and Rockefeller Center present “Derrick Adams Funtime Unicorns,” the inaugural production of Derrick Adams Editions located in the Channel Gardens beginning June 29th, 2022 and on view through September 9th, 2022.
An unexpected take on the iconic and mythical unicorn, Derrick Adams Funtime Unicorns is an interactive sculpture for social engagement and play. Set in the urban landscape, it invokes the idea of Blackness as magical, colorful, mystical, free-spirited, and deserving of protection.
Derrick Adams, a Baltimore-born, New York-based artist, identifies his practice as a fearless inquiry into Black life to emphasize a narrative that champions humanity and wholeness. Often referencing a deconstructivist framework, Adams’ acclaimed practice is multi-disciplinary spanning painting, collage, sculpture, performance, and video. Adams has chosen to study the influence of pop culture and self-image through the Black lens, leading him to question and reflect on the Black American experience through art history, consumerism, and iconography.
“In each one of these sculptures, my hope is that young Black boys and girls have a chance to laugh and bounce, climb and lean,” Adams said. “This is a place to make new friends – who are just as magical and colorful and who represent a more imaginative future for all of us. I am so excited I had the opportunity to showcase this new edition and create this fantastical work with Art Production Fund”
Funtime Unicorns builds off Adams’ signature iconography and imagery in a continuation of the artist’s acclaimed Floater series — a collection of vivid portraits that show Black people in various states of rest and play atop the popularized plastic pool float. An ode to the Black Unicorn figure first appearing in the Floater paintings, then realized as life-size inflatable pool floats, Derrick Adams Funtime Unicorns in its latest iteration is a manifestation of Adams’ conviction. The idea that Black joy, love, and play should be normalized and celebrated in popular visual culture.
About the Artist
DERRICK ADAMS received his MFA from Columbia University and BFA from Pratt Institute. He is an alumnus of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation’s Studio Program. Adams is a recipient of a Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Residency (2019), a Gordon Parks Foundation Fellowship (2018), a Studio Museum Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize (2016), and a Louis Comfort Tiffany Award (2009).
He has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, including Where I’m From — Derrick Adams (2019) at The Gallery in Baltimore City Hall; Derrick Adams: Sanctuary (2018) at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; and Derrick Adams: Transmission (2018) at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver.
Adams’ work has been presented in numerous important public exhibitions, including Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth. (2019) at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati. His work resides in the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Birmingham Museum of Art.
DERRICK ADAMS EDITIONS is a venture launched by artist Derrick Adams in order to extend Adams’ practice to new audiences and increase accessibility to his art. In response to the growing impact of contemporary visual culture, Derrick Adams Editions turns to new channels to engage audiences, by creating unique artwork editions rooted
in Adams’ distinct visual vocabulary, while experimenting with format, medium, and scale.
ART PRODUCTION FUND is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to commissioning and producing ambitious public art projects, reaching new audiences and expanding awareness through contemporary art. Past projects include: Elmgreen & Dragset,“Prada Marfa,” Valentine, TX, Ugo Rondinone, “Seven Magic Mountains,” Las Vegas, Jeff Koons, “Seated Ballerina,” Rockefeller Plaza, NYC, Zoe Buckman, “CHAMP,” LA; Raul de Nieves “When I Look In To Your Eyes I See the Sun,” Miami; Nancy Baker Cahill “Liberty Bell”, multiple cities; Sanford Biggers “Oracle”, Rockefeller Center, NY; Lucy Sparrow “Tampa Fresh Foods”, Tampa, FL.
For more information, please visit artproductionfund.org / @artproductionfund
For more information about Rockefeller Center visit www.artproductionfund.org and follow Art Production Fund on Instagram @artproductionfund.Black artistDerrick Adams