„Come as you are,“ in a world that constantly tries to tell you how you should be?
A couple of years ago, I would have agreed with this, with this that the world constantly tries to tell you how you should be or who you should be. I think that has changed, and that’s a gift! In my opinion, we are nowadays more free than ever to be whoever we want to be. Now, speaking for our Western world. We decide who we want to love and how we want to live, determine our gender, sneakers in the office are okay, formal greetings have turned into „Hiya“ instead of „Dear,“ and a casual „Thanks“ or „Best,“ in any case, and even the etiquette on golf courses has relaxed.
Who do you want to be, name it, decide it, or just be it!
In contrary, we might be less free in everything we do because we are seen and observed, anytime. There’s constant knowledge of where we are, paying with our bank cards, and getting registered or checked in a hundred places. There’s the curious neighbor, bosses calling our former employer, and there are still spies, but be yourself, come as you are, be, be, be!
Yesterday, I visited the current exhibition by Derrick Adams at Gagosian, Bevery Hills. Due to traffic, I had miscalculated, and I arrived at the gallery 8 minutes before its evening closing. So, there wasn’t enough time to spend an appropriate amount of time in front of the artworks. It was a rush!
Saying „Hiya“ and „Hello“ to the team, dancing while taking a video, and taking a picture of each work. A quick wonder, a quick sigh, be free to come as you are, even when time is very-very limited!
Well, the exhibition is wonderfully colorful, and in this, compared to our modern society, a mirror. We’re different, some more, some less, and accepted – at least free – to be this way. The recommendation in one piece of art „Stay focused,“ multicolored written on pastel-colored bathwater soap bubbles, above someone super relaxed in the bathtub: A game with sweet irony? Capturing the moment as we relax after a long day? Rubber ducks and flip-flops with smiles. Who’s up for some spa?
11 eyes that gaze at the viewer, even though there’s only one face, one portrait in the painting. We are being observed! Do you dare to be how you are? Eyes, gazes in paintings that look directly at you, and when it’s not the main protagonist, it reminds me of „The Martyrdom of St. Agatha“ by the Italian Baroque artist Tiepolo, where, from the viewer’s right side in the back of the image, concealed, someone is there, looking at the viewer, perhaps judging, warning, protection for the actual protagonist Agatha, here: the man’s face in the middle. Someone standing by their side. So, we are not free. We are constantly in focus, while keeping our own. We are seen in how we look, who we are, or how we look at others. Who dares to be a child here, especially when it says that there’s a „child in every man,“ accepted, celebrated, while for a woman, „an adult woman is an investment, an immature girl is a bill“? Equal rights for all? Forget it, but: Come as you are, I’ll judge you later!
Become cozy in being courageous .. More & more.
Liked the tricolored popsicle sculptures lying on the ground. Childhood memories, sticky fingers, colorful tongues, a sugar rush! Pointing to an inflatable unicorn in the pool. Strawberry cream cake. Four-colored skin tones of the individuals. Curious eyes. Butterflies. Ladybirds. Short skirts. King. Pink fingernails.
On the gallery’s homepage, it says, „This body of work flirts with the idea of sensuality.“ Desire to dream .. into the roles we want to play in life, things we want to do, things we wish to succumb to, and haven’t dared to until now. Courage to dance out of line. Courage to be more oneself. Courage to live in the moment. – The last one named perhaps the most important thing of all, considering that time is the greatest gift. Limited. Just like my 8 minutes at the gallery before closing time.
Derrick Adams . *1970, Baltimore/Maryland . currently based in New York City . current exhibition COME AS YOU ARE . At Gagosian Gallery . 456 North Camden Drive . Beverly Hills . CA