Adrian works in clay and still does some photography. He has been at RWS for maybe five months. He enjoys making art because it’s relaxing and takes him out of his head, and for him it’s also a natural mode of expression. Recently Adrian has been experimenting in his new work, using a tray of type to make impressions in clay. He did a lot of collage and rubber stamp art in high school and college and he does a lot of stamping on his cups and mugs, which is a carry over from that experience. He’s even using some pieces he’s had since he was fifteen. “I like getting the whole bag of mixed type because the stuff I’m doing now is more random, just having a big mess of metal to look through is kind of fun for me.” He’s influenced by Dada artists and their use of lettering and numbers in their collages. Adrian's always been drawn to the Dada and Surrealists partly because they were nuts–his words–and a lot of their stuff didn’t make sense. A lot of it was random, and he admires artists who can be free. After attending the High School of Art & Design in New York City and the School of Visual Arts for college, he had a career in publishing. He first worked as a photographer for 10 years and later as a photo editor for 15 years. “In photography there’s a process that’s pretty set. You know, you’ve got your chemicals, and they have to be mixed a specific way, the exposure has to be right. The cameras and the lenses fit in their boxes. I’ve always been very rigid and always wanted my stuff to be a little freer.” He feels clay is getting him a little closer to that artistically expressive freedom. “As much as I try for something to look perfect, it just never does and the new work that I’m doing with the more random pieces of type, I feel it kind of moving in that direction.” Try though he might, no two pieces will ever look the same, which he likes. Each piece is unique in its appearance and colors, and that’s where their joy comes from. “They’re so one of a kind, I just wind up keeping them. So I’ve got to get past that.” He says once he gets this technique down they’ll be good enough to sell. And most of them are good enough and he has sold many pieces, “I can have my tea out of it.” He credits the graphic designers and art directors he was around in school and publishing for nurturing his interest in fonts and type. “People are designing them; it is an art form and it’s meaningful to a lot of people.” In the publishing industry you hear “Print is dead” a lot, and working with parts of a medium that’s kind of obsolete moves Adrian. “I like to combine it with this new contemporary language of texting and social media that, you know, is, in a way, responsible for print to be on its way out.” He likes the humorous and at times sarcastic juxtaposition of the phrases and making his version of emoticons. These works in clay are a commentary on the difference between these two channels of communication as well as commentary on how one is disappearing and the other is taking over. “It’s like in music people are still wanting vinyl (over CD’s and digital); it's having some kind of resurgence. There is a certain sound that you can’t get from digital music that you can get from vinyl, and I guess that’s true with printing. There’s a look to printed stuff that you’re not going to get with digital media.”
When Adrian left Barron’s magazine and his fifteen year history there he didn’t want to have a period of not making. He always had an interest in learning pottery and a clay studio, BKLYN CLAY, opened just a couple of blocks from his brownstone. “It was a gift for me to have them there. It was hard to not be at Barron’s anymore and not working. I liked it. I liked making things. I like making things with clay. I didn’t think I would because it’s so messy and I don’t like making messes. But I kept going and I kind of hit on this idea with stamping and the type and it just brought back all of the other work that I had been doing since I was in high school.” So he went with it. And in Adrian’s case, it’s the addition of the print that really makes the pieces come alive. Contact Adrian via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his website, adriandelucca.com.