Futura is known for being one of the first graffiti artists to ever depart from lettering in the early 1980s and turn to abstraction. The artist grew up in New York. A teenager in the 1970s, those years which saw the rise of the graffiti and urban art movement, he quickly took an active part in this period of great artistic emulation and soon made his own mark thanks to his unusual style. Futura, therefore, holds a unique status in the history of graffiti, both as a pioneer and iconoclast of the movement.
From the turn of the 80s, he developed the use of canvas in his practice, exhibiting alongside artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring or Kenny Scharf. The key elements of the style which we associate with Futura today were already there: clouds of colour with subtle variations, fine lines that seem to be barely scratching the surface, and above all this astonishing fluidity that gives his work such a unique atmospheric mood. A personal touch and virtuosity make Futura an essential figure among urban artists today. After fifty years of career, he continues to be a painter with an ever-fertile creativity. One who was able, with his lofty abstract style, to stay relevant through the years and to free himself of reductive categories.
Futura has unveiled two sculptures titled Pointman – River Warrior, set to be unveiled in Singapore and Bali as a social commentary on pollution. To demonstrate the gravity of Indonesia’s dire pollution crisis, a problem that has long been a central concern for Futura, the Pointman statues will be made out of repurposed waste materials collected together with Potato Head from the Singaporean/Bali waterways. In Singapore, 14,300 black and white grocery bags were collected by environmental advocates, Sungai Watch, for the creation of Pointman. In Bali, everything from motor oil bottles to discarded water gallon lids sourced by a community organisation, Yayasan Kakikita were used. The Pointman statue in Singapore was at National Design Centre and another one, on a much larger scale, was unveiled in the courtyard of OMA-designed Potato Head Studios in Bali.
Futura’s sculpture is an extension of Potato Head & OMA’s “N*thing is Possible” exhibition in Singapore Design Week, where they collaborate with world-renowned talents i.e Kengo Kuma, Max Lamb, Faye Toogood, and Andreu Carulla, amongst others, to showcase a visual representation of the hospitality brand’s efforts to a zero-waste lifestyle.
Take a look at more images below and check back with us soon for more updates.