A pioneer when graffiti met contemporary art, Futura was known as early as the seventies for his radical approach in the street, introducing abstraction to an entirely letter-based discipline. His work caught the attention of the East Village Crowd in the 80s, and Futura (then Futura 2000) found himself part of a wider art movement that included the likes of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Julian Schnabel. Entirely self-taught in what he calls “the subway school”, the artist was compared to Kandinsky and Klee for his mastery of color, movement and line; and friends Basquiat, Kenny Scharf and Rammellzee for his progressiveness and of-the-moment relevance.
Radical then, his methodology can now be viewed over a span of decades as something consummately pure; Futura’s work still stands apart for its subtlety, use of white space, and elemental quality. The artist knows all that is needed - as it was at the beginning – are clouds of primary color, arresting movement, and skillful tricks with a spray can. Insight and proficiency have kept him relevant for 40+ years with no signs of slowing down, and successors have yet to match Futura’s impossibly thin aerosol lines.
Futura's Museum exhibitions include New York / New Wave at MoMA PS1 (1981), Coming From the Subway at the Groninger Museum (1992), Beautiful Losers (2004) and Art in the Streets at the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (2011)
American, b. 1955; based in Brooklyn, New York
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