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Brooklyn local Leonard Hilton McGurr, otherwise known as Futura, is one of the founding fathers of the graffiti movement in New York City. Futura started his career in the 1970s tagging subway walls as "Futura 2000," a nod to his favorite film 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick). Futura belongs to a notable group of artists that came out of New York City during this period, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Dondi White. Futura is an admired illustrator, photographer and fashion designer whose art touches many different spheres of public life.
Perhaps Futura’s most important contribution to graffiti art was the way he abstracted it, often blending his work’s text and imagery. His influence was felt far outside street art, as Futura would go on to collaborate with punk band The Clash, creating live works during their concerts and also designing their album art. Futura’s work can be found in the collections of the Musée de Vire, the Museum of the City of New York and the Museo de Arte Moderna di Bologna.
Nike SB tapped the legendary graffiti artist to rework the Dunk Low in 2003. Futura’s design featured suede on the mudguard, mesh on the mid panels and tumbled leather on the toe box and heel. The mixture of contemporary colors is said to represent the trains of New York, which Futura used as a canvas to practice his art in the early days of his career.
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