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. As the Creative Director of hip hop mogul Russell Simmons’ Def Jam Recordings, he co-founded the Drawing Board, the label’s in-house visual design firm, where he created 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: MoMA, Brooklyn Museum, Museum of the City of New York, New York University, and MoCA Los Angeles. He recently designed the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap that includes 9 CDs with more than 120 tracks and a 300-page book with 11 essays and never-before-seen photographs. The Anthology captures the evolution of hip-hop from its earliest days in the late 70s up to contemporary artists of today.
Portraits shot by Jeanette Beckman.