“JJ Adams is the Zappa or Hendrix of the UK Fine Art scene. I no longer walk past a gallery without looking in, he’s taken icons and buildings we know so well and added a little drop of LSD”
Recently featured in Vogue, GQ and Cheshire Life magazine, JJ Adams is rapidly becoming one of the UK’s most talked about and collectable artists and has been described on social media as the next ‘Andy Warhol’ (although JJ reckons this was an auto-correct mistake) He is bold and confident in style often completely transforming celebrity images or iconic landmarks with his own inimitable edge and blurring the lines between digital, pop and fine art.
The rebellious son of a baptist preacher, JJ emigrated as a child from Plymouth in the UK to Cape Town in South Africa in the early eighties. He spent much of his youth around the studio of South African contemporary artist Derric van Rensburg, where he discovered his love of bright colour and graphic art. JJ studied graphic design at Cape College whilst working as a part-time apprentice in `Wildfire Tattoos` a busy tattoo studio in central Cape Town while also working part-time as backstage crew for international bands visiting South Africa after the end of the Apartheid era. JJ finally returned to the UK in the mid-nineties with the aim of becoming a tattoo artist.
After a number of frustrated years living in London and working in Camden Market and struggling to make ends meet, JJ moved back to Plymouth to further study commercial printing at the Plymouth College of Art and Design. Over the next several years he worked as a self taught graphic designer in the South West of England and then moved into sign making while only painting in his spare time. In 2009 after selling a few of his acrylic paintings through a local gallery he decided it was time to move back to London and finally pursue his art career.
Adams uses a range of mixed media in his work from spray paint to hand painting acrylics, screen printing, collage and digital matte painting as well as photography. He admits being influenced at art college by artists like Norman Rockwell, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Sir Peter Blake and more obscure artists such as Guy Peelleart, Storm Thorgerson and lowbrow artists like Coop, Jim Phillips and Graham Coton who was a World War II comic book artist.