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Born Leonard McGurr, Futura made his reputation spray painting subway trains in New York City in the 1970s as “Futura 2000” — the number was dropped in 1999. He would go on to be part of the booming graffiti and street art movement in the 1980s, but was forced to depend on European venues and collectors after attention in the United States quickly dried up in the late 1980s, though he did go on to collaborate with various American fashion and music labels.
Now he’s back with his first solo New York exhibition in 32 years, which is taking place at Eric Firestone Gallery in Manhattan. In this conversation, he generously shares his insight into the mercurial art world, what motivates him to continue making work, and reflections on a scene that continues to change.
The music in this episode is Lara Sarkissian’s “A House is a Being,” from the album Grief Into Rage: A Compilation for Beirut, which is raising funds for victims of the Beirut blast last August. I’m sending love to those who continue to grapple with that horrific event.
This week, LA’s new Academy Museum, the intersections of anti-Blackness and anti-fatness, a largely unknown 19th century Black theater in NYC, sign language interpreters, and more.
Titian’s paintings are masterpieces, with all the complications of the term.
Through “Historic Site,” an 8-foot-tall plaque and Historic Sight, a year-long rotating exhibition in Pittsburgh, the Black Cube Fellows investigate how history is constructed, remembered, and retold.
Lawson’s images, and the ways that she has discussed her process, seem to be actively reproducing the kind of big-dick energy power dynamics of White male artists who also claim mastery over their subject matter.
Jenkins’s new short film, the centerpiece of a MoMI exhibit on The Underground Railroad, uses his signature techniques to confront the viewer.
Romanticism to Ruin: Two Lost Works of Sullivan and Wright memorializes Chicago’s Garrick Theatre and Buffalo’s Larkin Building, which were razed to build a parking lot and a truck stop.