Artist of the Week – Futura
Writing about Futura is one of the most pleasant and most difficult things we do: Pleasant because Futura is a graffiti legend that pioneered the way into contemporary art; Difficult because what more can you say about a pioneering graffiti legend? Our attempt to honor the man goes as follows: In recent weeks Futura participated in the 106 Bayard project in Williamsburg, Brooklyn that beautifies the district and celebrates graffiti. Only weeks later on June 13th the artist began painting the entrails of the Palais de Tokyo for the third edition Lasco Project together with Vhils, Cleon Peterson, Cockney, Evol, Horfe, Ken and Sortais. Only a day later he opened a solo exhibition at the Paris branch of Magda Danysz gallery titled “Futura: Introspective”. At the same time Futura began the “One Nation: One Team” initiative with Lupe Fiasco and the US Soccer Team to prepare the country for the World Cup in Brazil. On June 21st he presented the LEWDS collection, a fashion collaboration with Crooks & Castles, at the labels Fairfax location.
Futura accomplished all this and always remained dedicated, creatively excellent and true to his art. For all these reasons and his prior accomplishments for graffiti, contemporary art and creative expression we honor Futura as Widewalls Artist of the Week.
Palais de Tokyo – Lasco Project #3
Under the name of Lasco Project, Palais de Tokyo in Paris grew into one of the largest and most liberal urban and street art exhibition spaces in Europe, retaining institutional importance, while uncovering novel talents from international scene. For its 3rd edition, seven creatives have been invited to give their urban and artistic visions inside the Palais de Tokyo. Curated by Hugo Vitrani, two great names of street art are included in the seven, Vhils and Futura. Taking part in the Lasco Project, Futura opens the dialogue with the freshly arrived to the graffiti scene that share the same ideals today as he himself still pursues.
The exhibition at Magda Danysz Gallery showcases Futura’s post-graffiti and contemporary art in which geometric, abstract shapes have replaced the ‘tag’ in his work, while he began focusing on color and composition. Futura can be seen as the follower of some of the most prominent Abstract Expressionist ideas, while there is some Pollock in the way he approaches the canvas. His colors fuse and melt into each other, while the composition is balanced with lines, angular or round figures and patterns, all executed with spray paint, handled by the artist with astounding virtuosity.
One Nation: One Team
Futura, designed the official Men’s National team World Cup poster, limited edition skate deck and other collectable, limited edition items related to the team. His recognizable visual expression will be following the National soccer team on their way to Brazil, as the famous artist will produce a couple of live works. One was executed on Fan Appreciation Day on May 30, and another one is to be done on June 16, which is the US Soccer Fan Fest in Chicago. Both of the pieces are to be sold off at auction, benefiting the Mission campaign of Lupe Fiasco.
Futura was a friend of the late Lewds and when approached by the Crooks & Castles crew to contribute to collection, he immediately agreed. Collaboration with the famous brand was more at an inspirational level, as the artist submitted his designs, works and proposals and left to the fashion design crew to melt it together with the wearable pieces. Novel materials and the bucket hat have proved the perfect foundation for Futura’s abstract designs.