Born Leonard McGurr, the Brooklyn-born street artist burst onto the scene — quite literally — in the seventies, by graffiti “bombing” subway cars as they passed through Manhattan’s subway tunnels. By the early ‘80s, he’d graduated onto canvas, regularly showing his works at the Fun Gallery, a Lower East Side institution, alongside Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Richard Hambleton, sometimes known as “the godfather of street art.”
Catch Futura solo show at Magda Danysz Gallery in Shanghai on YOUTUBE!
But the artist, then known as Futura 2000, always proffered a style unique to his contemporaries, creating works that veered towards abstraction and eventually spun off into their own school of street art. Performance art also shaped the early stages of his career, as he painted live on stage during The Clash’s 1981 European tour, produced albums for the band and later teamed up with front man Mike Jones to record a track.
As Y2K rolled around, McGurr dropped the numerical appendage to his name, which he’d adopted as a teenager when the turn of the century seemed a long way off. The streamlined moniker also hints at a new chapter in his constantly evolving style, which is evidenced by the diversity of works on display in the factory-turned-gallery.
What is Futura’s style?
Futura’s eclectic style, which he defines as “abstract expressionism,” also surprises by offering elements that don’t look possible with a spray can. Some canvases drip streaks of color so thin they evoke the fine lines of a paintbrush. Others evoke a gentle tie-dye.
Futura’s signature element, an eternity symbol made of interlocking circles, is a constant theme, along with works named for various Shanghai streets. Photography and sketches appear throughout the exhibition, including a series of selfies.
–by jswanson206 – Thu, Nov 27, 2014 11:30 AM City Weekend