Futura 2000 (b. Leonard McGurr, 1955) is an acclaimed graffiti artist best known for his abstract approach to street art. Born in New York, he began painting in the subway system as a teenager in the early 1970s, and over the course of his career was associated with the groups 3YB, CIA, FBI, Interpol, and KGB. While other graffiti artists of the 1970s and 1980s focused on lettering, Futura 2000 was unique in his abstract style. In the 1980s, he began to work on canvas, and exhibited alongside American artists Keith Haring (1958–1990), Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–1988), and Kenny Scharf (b. 1958). In 1981, he painted the backdrops for The Clash’s European tour and designed the sleeve for their “This Is Radio Clash” single, and in 1982 handwrote the sleeve notes and lyrics sheet for their “Combat Rock” album. He continued to tour with the band and spray paint backdrops during the performances. More recently, Futura has transitioned into working as a graphic and commercial artist. He has worked with companies such as Nike, Recon, and Medicom Toy, and designs clothing for his label Futura Laboratories. His work has been exhibited at MoMA PS1 in New York, the Grotinger Museum in the Netherlands, and the Gallery Du Jour in Paris. He has had solo exhibitions at 560 Washington St., New York, NY; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, England; and Yvon Lambert, Paris, France. He lives and works in New York, NY.
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