Futura 2000

American graffiti artist.

Born: 17 November 1955 in New York City, New York, USA.

He started to paint illegally on New York's subway in the early seventies, working with other artists such as ALI. In the early eighties he showed with Patti Astor at the Fun Gallery, along with Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Richard Hambleton and Kenny Scharf. Futura 2000 began painting "legally" as the live on-stage backdrop painter for The Clash's 1981 European tour.

More recently, he is a successful graphic designer and gallery artist. One of the most distinctive features about Futura's work is his abstract approach to graffiti art. While the primary focus, during the 1980s, of the majority of graffiti artists was lettering, Futura pioneered abstract street art, which has since become more popular. Conversely, his aerosol strokes are regarded as different from those of his peers, as they are as thin as the fine lines achieved only through the use of an airbrush.

While he is an infamous graffiti artist, his most prolific work is as an illustrator and graphic designer of record sleeves, first becoming involved with The Clash; producing a sleeve for their 7" single "Radio Clash" and handwriting the sleeve notes and lyrics sheet for their album Combat Rock. He also toured extensively with The Clash during the Combat Rock tours, 'performing' with them on stage by spray painting backdrops whilst the band performed.

Years later James Lavelle resurrected his career by getting him, alongside Ben Drury and Will Bankhead, to produce the artwork for several releases on Mo Wax; this also led to Futura producing the imagery which has largely defined James Lavelle's UNKLE project.

During the 1990's he was involved with clothing companies such as GFS, Subware and Project Dragon. More recently much of Futura's artwork has evolved into the production of highly collectible toys, "Sneakers"; and a diverse range of craetive media. Working with Recon, Nike, North Face, Medicom Toy, Undercover, Supreme, Levi's, A Silent Flute and A Bathing Ape.

Futura also designs his own clothing label, Futura Laboratories, with a store located in Fukuoka, Japan.

His art has also been exhibited at V1 Gallery, a contemporary art gallery in Copenhagen, Denmark.


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