Three and a half years ago, as a Blackstone Valley Prep High School student, Jide was part of the first show in the Gallery at Sprout CoWorking. Now he is back with more passion for photography and a new string of work from an ongoing series titled “eXecute”. We had a conversation about his photos and exhibition opening August 5th.
Sprout CoWorking: Hi Jide. Thanks for doing this. We spoke with Shari [Sprout’s gallery manager] about the success of your first opening night at Sprout, with Mayor Elorza, and she is thrilled to have you back. Where are you from?
Jide Adeleke: Hi, I’m glad I can do this for you! I’m from Central Falls, RI. I grew up there for 12 years now. I still live there.
When did you first show at Sprout and what did you show?
My first show at Sprout was during my sophomore year of high school. I think it was Spring 2016. I chose to show photos I took around the city. Those were something I was just taking for fun. I took photos around Providence & I was interested in the architecture of the buildings in the city. I thought why not show it to the people coming through Gallery Night.
I was looking around at different things.
When I first got into photography there were two small cameras around the house. I picked one up. It was actually a Canon Powershot. I wanted to upgrade to something that would make me seem more like a pro. Mr. Jose, one of my teachers, helped me get a camera and that was donated to me. I still appreciate him for that. I upgraded to a Sony Alpha 3000. From that time on I kept shooting and my taste grew.
What are you doing now?
Jide: Now I am in college. I’m going to New York University. I decided to stay home for the summer to save money because it can get really expensive. I learned that my first year. [laughs] I’m entering my sophomore year now.
I’m studying integrated digital media in an Engineering program. I have taken some classes as electives but it’s not really for my major. Photography is something I usually do for personal work.
Does this body of work relate to what you were doing back in 2016?
It’s pretty far from what I’ve done in the past. I used to take pictures of buildings and mostly architecture. Now I take photos of people more. I’ve become more comfortable taking pictures of people over time.
I was in New York recently for three days. I went around taking photos on the street. I don’t mind asking people to take their picture on the street sometimes. My new photos are pretty people focused. It’s definitely odd at first but you kind of grow into it and become more comfortable with it over time.
It took me a year of so to become used to asking. I’m interning at Retina Creative Lab in East Providence right now. It’s helped me become a lot more comfortable with studio equipment and models at the same time. It’s an upcoming studio and I’ve been helping out there.
Who are your favorite artists? Where do you draw inspiration from?
Jide: Last year I was really interested in Gregory Crewdson’s work. He’s a photographer who I believe is based in New York. He’s so detailed in his work – he’s a perfectionist. He looks at things so differently and likes to make photos that are reminiscent of cinematic scenes. That was where I got some of the inspiration for what I’m showing at Gallery Night.
Another artist I look to right now is Uzumaki Cepeda. She makes a lot of art that’s made out of faux fur. I think it’s cool how everything comes together and all the colors pop. I never thought about what she makes with faux fur and I’m just amazed at what’s she’s done.
What’s your favorite thing to do in Providence?
Really go out to Chinatown on Thayer Street with some of my friends and eat. That’s one of the best spots there and good portions. Ben & Jerry’s is a classic, Tropical Smoothie I just started liking…you can’t go wrong with Baja’s.
What would you like other artists to know about showing at Sprout?
Sprout is pretty easy to work with. Every time I’ve talked to Shari she’s been kind & cooperative. Just don’t be afraid to reach out and put yourself out there, especially if you’re an upcoming artist.
Where do you see yourself headed in the future?
I really see myself becoming a creative director. I don’t know if it’s in fashion or in any other industry. I just really want to become a creative director right now. I also want to do an exhibition and bring it back to providence.
Thanks Jide. Where else can we find your work?
Jide Adeleke’s photography exhibition will run August 5th, 2019 through August 30th at Sprout CoWorking in Providence. Catch him during our Gallery Night Providence on August 15th from 5:30-9pm. The gallery will be open Monday-Friday 9am to 5pm regularly.