Along with ALI in the 70’s and further with Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Richard Hambleton or Kenny Scharf, Futura 2000 born Lenny Mc Gurr, has radicalised the artworld at the end of the last century, scealing the concept of public art. Not only art to the mass but art with the mass.And what best than subways for it, especially if we consider that street art also requires easy environments to escape from the police.
Another way to escape from the police for a street artist, is to leave the Street and the undergrounds for more confortable places such as studios or auction houses. Only the good ones managed to do that and to get the recognition and wealth along. In the case of Futura, in parralel of his career as an artist, he’s deeply involved in the fashion and luxury indutries, designing for brands such as Nike or Hennessy. Futura’s style of lyrical abstraction was unique, which meant that his work was as distinctive as other artists’ tags and was instantly recognisable even without a signature.
Futura’s style of lyrical abstraction was unique, which meant that his work was as distinctive as other artists’ tags and was instantly recognisable even without a signature. Despite his promising start, Futura abandoned street art in 1973, following an accident in the subway system in which his friend and fellow artist Ali was injured. He enlisted in the US Navy for four years, but returned to street art in 1979. Futura and Ali founded the Soul Artists of Zoo York, a collective of New York graffiti artists that met in a subway tunnel under the Central Park Zoo.
In the 1980s, Futura 2000 made the transition from walls to canvas, exhibiting his works in alternative spaces like Fashion Moda in 1980, then in established galleries like Tony Shafrazi in 1983.
One of his first group exhibitions was with Patti Astor at the FUN Gallery, along with Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Richard Hambleton and Kenny Scharf.
Following his solo exhibition at the FUN Gallery in 1982, Futura participated in several major museum exhibitions devoted to graffiti: at the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam, Netherlands, at the Tate Gallery in London, as well as Hanover, Munich, Hong-Kong and Tokyo. His recent solo exhibitions include Phantom Galleries, Los Angeles (2008), Art Forum Berlin (2009) and Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris (2012).