Futura has always been a legend in the realm of graffiti and street art. Recently, he has taken a step back towards the limelight in the world of art with a show at Galerie Jerome de Noirmont (covered) and a prominent collaboration with Hennessy on their iconic VS bottle. Unlike many in the current trend of street art, he isn’t a novel flash in the pan – Leonard Hilton McGurr (aka. Futura) has always been relevant. Our friends at Complex put together a comprehensive write up on the artist and how he came to be so consistent in an culture dictated by trends and phrases.

In the article, we learn about how a simple street artist became a true pioneer and perhaps how he maintained and expanded his influence in the span of over 30 years. Broken down into different decades, we see Futura’s constant evolution from the 70’s where he was bombing subway trains and traveling the world on the Merchant Marines, to the 80s where he flirted with the Velvet Undeground, Punk Rock and Hip Hop. We catch the 90’s where he created the GFS clothing label to enter new visual territory by placing graffiti graphics with fashion. Also, his work with music collective UNKLE led to the creation of his signature Pointman (seen here), not to mention his now iconic collaborations with brands such as Medicom, Bathing Ape, Levi’s and Nike. Finally, it brings the perspective to the present, with his current fascination and presence in digital space (i.e. Instagram & Flickr). His constant evolution and willingness to experiment and reinvent himself seem to be a core trait that has extended his relevance in art and pop culture.

Insight into why he choose to collaborate with Hennessy: “Something like this is a door-opener,” he says of the bottles. “Needless to say I’m going to open up my audience. My goal is to present myself and let them determine if I am worthy of their time.”

What the future holds: “It has never really been about me.” Still he concedes that “I need to be more assertive in the art world—and I will be.”

Read the entire article here.

Also as part of Complex’s Futura week, another article focuses on a visual history of Futura’s collaborations. Check out below for some notables that they shared with us. Continue here to catch the entire list.

Images thanks to Complex & Fenny Chung
Discuss Futura here.