Yo here at ‘DROP ON A CLASSIC’ I understand that hitting all you heads with knowledge on hip hop music is a must but hip hop isn’t just music its a cultural movement. Which many of you know to involve ‘the 4 elements’ which are rapping, djing, breaking, and graffiti. So in the spotlight today a little bit of knowledge about legendary graffiti artist Futura 2000.
Born in 1955 in New York, he started to paint illegally on New York’s subway in the early seventies, working with other artists such as ALI. In the early eighties he showed with Patti Astor at the Fun Gallery, along with Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Richard Hambleton and Kenny Scharf. Futura 2000 began painting “legally” as the live on-stage backdrop painter for The Clash’s 1981 European tour. More recently, he is a successful graphic designer and gallery artist. One of the most distinctive features of Futura’s work is his abstract approach to graffiti art. While the primary focus, during the 1980s, of the majority of graffiti artists was lettering, Futura pioneered abstract street art, which has since become more popular. Conversely, his aerosol strokes are regarded as different from those of his peers, as they are as thin as the fine lines achieved only through the use of an airbrush.
While he’s primarily known as a graffiti artist, much of his work is as an illustrator and graphic designer of record sleeves, first becoming involved with The Clash; producing a sleeve for their “Radio Clash” 7″ single and handwriting the sleeve notes and lyrics sheet for their album Combat Rock. He also toured extensively with The Clash during the Combat Rock tours, ‘performing’ with them on stage by spray painting backdrops whilst the band performed. Not only did he paint for the clash live on stage he also features on the track ‘Overpowered by Funk’ doing some spoken word poetry. And in a reversal the Clash feature instrumentally on Futura’s track ‘The Escapades of Futura 2000′, which also has a guest appearance from hip hop legend Fab 5 Freddie.
Years later James Lavelle resurrected his career by getting him, alongside Ben Drury, to produce the artwork for several releases on Mo’ Wax records; this also led to Futura producing the imagery which has largely defined James Lavelle’s UNKLE project.
During the 90’s he was involved with clothing companies such as GFS, Subware and PROJECT DRAGON. More recently much of Futura’s artwork has evolved into the production of highly collectible toys, SNEAKERS; and a diverse range of CREATIVE media. Working with Recon, Nike, North Face, Medicom Toy, Undercover, Supreme, Levi’s, A Silent Flute and A Bathing Ape.
Futura also designs his own clothing label FUTURA LABORATORIES with a store located in Fukuoka, Japan. To this day Futura carries on his legacy exhibiting his work world wide in numerous galleries. And if any of you are lucky enough to be in Paris May 27 to July 21st hop on down to Galerie Jerome De Noirmont to check out his new works exhibition.
I hope this has expanded your horizons or reminded you of some dopeness. Cop the videos below to see Futura’s song and an interview from 2010.
‘Escapades of Futura 2000’
Thats all for this installment homies. I’m out