Recently brainstorming for a feature we have been working on. We were comparing graffiti artists to artists throughout art history. Trying to relate Futura to an important figure, or artist to create some point of reference seemed impossible. We could correlate and make a generalization of the progression of graffiti throughout history. The one problem continued to be Futura. Futura didn’t seem to fit anywhere. We couldn’t say that there was a progression in his case. Futura was as the cliche states, ahead of his time. He was a complete paradigm shift.

A graffiti legend, a pioneer, and a contemporary master Futura again shines in his recent exhibition of work titled “Expansion“. He proves once again that he hasn’t gone anywhere. Not only has he remained relevant in today’s scene of street art and hybrid graffiti styles, he remains an innovator. This recent body of work is built on the aesthetics of Futura, yet there are subtle new additions as well. There are many of us who don’t see with the eyes of a graffiti artist, and that’s OK. The beauty of his work is that not only is there something for us, but also for those that appreciate the fine art of his paintings. Being able to speak to a wider audience has always been one of Futura’s strengths.

Utilizing a spray can to create an atmospheric and signature spray, Futura is able to control the spraycan without holding too much of its spontaneous nature. The use of brush paint and marker bring a more solid mark to the surface allowing another layer of movement to form. What you are left with is colorful masterfully painted pictures that define decades of Futura’s work, but also show us something new. The mark making is effortless and fleeting, masterful.

The scale of the work is also impressive two of our favorite pieces are the larger works. The purple hazed wall with soft touches of paint sprayed in an almost impressionist style makes a huge impression. This painting rivals anything we have seen recently. The blue, white and black large piece stands out as well. Abstract fades resemble folded drapery, subtle yet speaking volumes. It is great to see a new exhibition from Futura. We only hope we don’t have to wait too long for the next one. Amazing work!




Photos courtesy of Ben Dale Cooper