Throwing Biscuits with BK Adams
Posted by Joshua Yospyn | December 26, 2010
Bryant Keith Adams, who goes by “BK” and prefers the moniker bk.iamart.adams, called me up out of the blue after seeing a street portrait I took of him for Worn Magazine’s recent print edition. A DC-based artist known for his colorful persona, paintings and sculpture, BK asked to meet. I pitched the idea of photographing his studio and after a few phone calls and e-mails, I was in a Zipcar to Anacostia. A large two-story house in a Southeast suburb of Washington and something out of a Roald Dahl novel, it’s an incredible collection of everything that defines “I AM ART,” a phrase the artist brands himself with. Large-scale artwork, old bikes, decaying furniture and materials for future sculpture line every nook and cranny of the house. (There’s also no heat here, so a crackling fireplace is the center of my attention.)
Click through the jump or scroll down for more photos, beginning with a painting BK made of his palm, plus make sure to visit The Kreeger Museum beginning January 15 to see more work from bk.iamart.adams.
Above, a painting that BK told me was like “spilling milk” or “throwing biscuits.” He explained how much fun it was to create something where he was allowed to be “mischievous” without “getting yelled at.” I AM ART might symbolize how he’s constantly researching his relationship with the world, the interconnectedness of things, and in turn expressing what he finds through one of several mediums. ”Everything for me is a study,” he says, as we’re looking around the second floor of the house and I’m trying not to bump into something or get fresh paint on my jacket.
Below, two stories in one. Back in June, Katie Musser, a chocolatier and the subject of our “Chocouture” story in the latest issue of Worn Magazine, talks with BK about his steampunk-style goggles. Moments later I took a picture for the “Worn Out” section of our second print edition. BK was greeting visitors at his outdoor sculpture installation on H Street, where Katie and I decided to take a break after spending hours photographing inside Co Co. Sala. This is a typical sighting of BK, his clothes covered in paint, eyes shaded and a beret on top.
I can only imagine what BK’s clothing closet looks like. It might explain why he’s always wearing sunglasses.
Also at the studio on Thursday night were his two sons, 7-year-old Emmanuel (left) and 5-year-old Elisha (right).
BK explained to me how he continues to work on his paintings after they’ve returned from display. In the above photograph, you can see the origins of the canvas below, which appears to have been completely painted over except for a few eyes that still peek through. Visitors of his installation on H Street might remember the blue chair sitting on top of a pole that rose high into the air.
Like the artist himself, the floors and walls of BK’s studio are covered with paint. A few years ago BK held a studio open house and laid down red tape to help guide visitors through the building. The tape remains, worn down beneath splashes of acrylic.
Above and below, images of “The Dreamer.”
bk.iamart.adams isn’t the only resident artist. Elisha showed me his sculpture below, entitled “Toys R Us for World.”
Photo Credits: Joshua Yospyn (please ask permission to use our images)
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