In January, Futura mounted his most recent solo show at Galerie Jerome de Noirmont in Paris. The opening drew friends ranging from the French fashion designer Agnes B., with whom Futura created one of his first co-branded products, to up-and-coming English street artist Nick Walker. It was the type of crowd that hammered home an essential point — Futura speaks to many people and his forward movements function like a snowball, bundling up old fans with new ones.
The fresh paintings on view proved that the 57-year-old artist is still progressing. His traditional atom, helix, and Pointman were minimized, his canvases pushing beyond the edges of traditional graffiti and into a more fluid abstract realm, soft aerosol mixing with harder paint and marker line for a never-before-seen depth. The exhibition served as a reminder that Leonard McGurr is always looking for new angles and new challenges.
The relationship I have with my kids is super strong. In the end, the value of my relationship with my family outweighs everything. —Futura
His own call to action comes from his own family. Futura’s daughter, Tabatha, is with us at Chateau de Bagnolet. For each of her father’s stories, she has an aside. She lovingly cuts him down, playfully punctuating points with a “you’re stupid”. McGurr’s son, Timothy (making a name for himself as a photographer under the moniker 13th Witness, is physically absent but a constant presence as father and daughter check iPhones and track him via social media.
“Coming from a broken situation, it was important for me to get my family together,” says Futura, who was an adopted child himself. “The relationship I have with my kids is super strong. In the end, the value of my relationship with my family outweighs everything. Moving forward, that balance helps me maintain a certain reality in my life.”
The stars of art and family are now aligning. Just over 30 years ago, Futura came to France and set off on an artistic journey that continues to surprise and delight. When we see his signature and that trademark abstract style on the Hennessy bottle, we understand the history, and we see it repeating as the art world—and the real world—gets back to Futura.