Futura: Full Frame is a book by Magda Danysz exploring the life of legendary graffiti artist Futura, aka Lenny Mc Gurr, from the 1980s until today, including backstage images of the artist at work through the decades and his artworks. I guess I must admire the need to set things on fire: this quote, lifted from Futuras collaboration with punk band The Clash, clearly illustrates his approach to his creative career as a whole. The so-called father of abstract graffiti started out in the 1970s bombing the trains of his hometown New York. He later transferred this style into paintings on canvas and was praised by the likes of Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. With them, FUTURA has been a major influencer of youth culture through his collaborations with iconic brands like NIKE, Levis, Vans, Hennessey, Medicom Toys as well as with his own brand Futura Laboratories. For the past 40 years, he has continually been pushing the boundaries of street art.This book is the first ever to bring together the fruits of his extraordinary creativity in one place. With a rich collection of photographs, this coffee table book will present Futuras work from his early beginnings to his current work, making it of interest not just for fans of his work but also for book lovers looking for a high-quality item.As an abstract graffiti artist, Futura opened the door to a new form of creativity, paving the road for the most important art movement of the century to blossom. His contribution and the way he inspired then generations of street artists turned him into an American legend. Madga Danysz
As Futura enters fully into the frame of a contemporary artist, it’s important for upcoming artists to remember that his success didn’t happen overnight. He also had a family to support, and his numerous jobs included working as a bike messenger on Manhattan’s untamed streets. “Full Frame” reveals the nascent stages of Futura’s art and the elements of his birthplace New York city, which inspired it. Futura 2000 is the self-named moniker created by Lenny Gurr, whose career started in the early 80s; his work continues to evolve, evoking the futuristic element of his chosen name. “I feel like a lot of what is being revealed about my work hasn’t really been seen,” Futura says as he describes the nearly 300 page tome, with a vivid yellow cover, “Full Frame,” published by Drago and organized by Magda Danysz. Among the richly illustrated pages, Danysz presents important benchmarks in Futura’s steadily growing career and personal life that bring the evolution closer to the reader. In terms of the visual language in these sketches, diagrams and canvasses, there are a wealth of orbs and symbols that take the viewer on both stellar and interstellar journeys. Evolution appears to be natural for Futura: his work reveals a raw energy that is a firing of synapses that push deep into his imaginary worlds. Futura’s influences are an eclectic mix of expressionist and abstract art; punk; the race to the moon; and the urban counterculture movement. His recurring circle motifs are as much about his internal mind and world as they are about the cosmos. A sense of balance in the chaos is always present, the palette choices impeccably on point, sharply sweet and frequently daring. Is this fantasy or diary? If Futura hasn’t traveled to most of these places, it’s not because he hasn’t tried. But we’re treating these pages and frames of eye-popping, other-worlds as evidence that he has. “I think for the most part people appreciate survivors,” he is quoted in the book. Few survivors could be so freely percolating with ideas and graceful in their delivery. – brooklynstreetart.com — Brooklin Street Art
About the Author
Magda Danysz (born September 1974), is a French art curator and art dealer, she owns her galleries named Magda Danysz Gallery in Paris, in Shanghai, and in London. She started in the art business in the early 1990s, when she opened her first art space in 1991 when she was 17. She studied at the ESSEC French leading business school. She went on student exchanges at Osaka International University in 1995 and Buenos Aires University in 1998. After graduating in 1998, she opened her gallery in July of that same year in a brand new space. She curated projects in her gallery with artists from various disciplines, from street art to digital art. She brought Shepard Fairey to the French scene in the early 2000s (who did Barack Obama’s official portrait for the presidential campaign), worked with such as JonOne since 1992, and also exhibited and promoted artists as Seen, Miss Van, Erwin Olaf, JR, Prune Nourry, Vhils and Ultralab. She participated in many art fairs around the world including Paris, Bologna, Brussels, New York, and even Miami. In June 2009 she was appointed to direct the building’s Bund 18 gallery in Shanghai, China, which then became the Magda Danysz Gallery. She published an extensive anthology of street art. In 2015 she expanded her gallery business in London with her iconic pop up space called The London Project. During the first years of her gallery, she did consulting at Arthur Andersen from 1997 to 2004. She consulted for the cultural field, including positions with the Ministry of Culture, Christie’s, the Théâtre Marigny, the Nantes Museum, and the Louvre.Supporting artists from all horizons, Magda Danysz has always placed herself in constant search of multidisciplinarity. Conscious that promotion of the emerging scene is necessary, Magda Danysz took part in many fairs such as for example Art Brussels, Arte Fiera in Bologna, Artissima in Torino, Fiac in Paris or Pulse in New York, and her gallery in Paris is one of the four galleries at the origin of the Show Off Paris art fair. The gallery also works a lot on curatorial projects and collaborations with foreign galleries as for instance in Los Angeles and New York. In addition, Magda Danysz is also member of the board of the Cube, the main French digital art cultural center.
He teaches Aesthetics at the Visual Arts department of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University. When he is not writing boring academic papers he writes stuff for artists, magazines and galleries. He also curates gallery shows and projects in the public space. His main research interests lie in graffiti writing and the so-called «street art», their ambiguous relationship with the institutional art world and the cultural industry. He is also very interested in the aesthetics and the social history of memes, yet his one true intellectual ambition is to write a philosophical treatise about cats. He likes very much working with artists: listening to them speaking about their work, writing about them and figuring out projects that fit their interests and practice. In the past he has worked at Magda Danysz Gallery, the Italian Embassy in Paris and the Dia Art Foundation in New York City. Most recently, he has been working as a freelance curator and art advisor for Pigment Workroom, Doppelgaenger Gallery, Vivendi, GFR, and TEDxBari.