12 June 2009

An Interview with Futura 2000

(Better On Black courtesy of Futura)

Following my recent question and answer post on my own photography (click here), I was fortunate enough to be able to talk to one of my major inspirations, Futura 2000. The graffiti artist, designer, illustrator and photographer (to name but a few of his many skills) graciously took the time to answer a few broad questions of my own.

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First of all, I suppose the obvious question would be, what first attracted you to graffiti art?

in the late 60's . . . I began to see THE WRITING ON THE WALL. I knew this was a movement gaining momentum and I wanted to participate.
but I also wanted to make a positive contribution. not VANDALIZING property in the public spaces but possibly enhancing it. use the vehicle; which is (graffiti) as a medium of self expression.
self promotion was the METHOD. painting walls&subway trains was the PROCESS. making a name for myself was the THEORY.
the WORLD is a VAMPIRE. haha. that was FORTY years ago. as they say; be careful what you wish for.

How did the name Futura 2000 come about?

the name is a combination of the TYPEFACE (thank you PAUL RENNER) the sewing machine (thank you SINGER) and the film 2001 . . . a SPACE ODYSSEY. GOD BLESS YOU . . . MR. STANLEY KUBRICK.

Much of your work is now presented through gallery exhibitions. How do you believe that change in presentation, if at all, affects the way your work is perceived by others?

I've never truly chased that dream, to be a GALLERY artist. to be in EXHIBITIONS. to be acquired by MUSEUMS. to be (that) DEEP.
given my background and lack of a formal ART EDUCATION. it was/has never been the thing. for others it's the only thing. and (it) is a MONSTER . . . that "quote" and "unquote" . . . ARTWORLD. which is an industry, a machine. a consumer of energy. and leaves a very large FOOTPRINT.
in astronomical terms, I have chosen to ORBIT around my own WORLD. not consumed by it, not at all. because I would never impose upon others to adapt to the gravitational pull (haha) but turning (evolving) at my own natural (organic) timeframe. subsequently I'm off on my own; doing my own thing.
wow. as for the perception of presentation; and how it may or may not affect my work? it's not something I think about. painting&drawing are only two elements in my bag of tricks.
in certain circles I'm sure there are those who think very highly of my work. as I am sure there are those who do not. and honestly MR. DAPPER . . . I don't really care. I'm not that wrapped up with my identity as an artist.
which can often come off sounding very pretentious. I'm just a guy that knows a guy; who met a guy; that went to the former SOVIET UNION. that's a true story. wink.

What first attracted you to photography?

it's a powerful MEDIUM. and the initial attraction came from powerful imagery. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC. NASA LUNARSCAPES . pictures of soldiers (via) various WARS. the TIME_LIFE collections. the contrast of BLACK&WHITE.

What was your first ever camera?

a POLAROID SWINGER . . .

What was it that first inspired you to begin your photography calendar (FUTURA:2000), and share your daily photographs?


my personal variation of a DAY IN THE LIFE. I've been online for more than a decade now . . . and I wanted to design something different from what EVERYONE is doing with the same COOKIE CUTTER formats. let's be honest . . . how ORIGINAL (can the perception of ) CONTENT be? when EVERYONE is using the same program or application. plus most individuals don't have or cannot offer ORIGINAL programming. posting & reposting the same MEDIA . . . so I went in another direction. these last few years I've come up with this new format. fortunately after my GRAPHIC architecture my son TIMOTHY was able to create the FLASHWORK . . . he's awesome; and the code he designed is extremely elegant. sexy even. a REALTIME calendar which I personally update daily. image&caption. that's it.

You are lucky enough to have had the opportunity to travel the world, what would you say is your favourite country or city?

a very difficult question. and let's be technical here. my answer will be FOREIGN. I love my country, (politics&religion) notwithstanding. and I LOVE NEW YORK.
I was born&raised here. but having circumvented the planet (a few x's) I think I can speak from a vast experience. hmm. favorite (other) country is JAPAN. and favorite (other) city would be RIO DE JANEIRO. the view from the CRISTO REDENTOR is beyond words.

Is there somewhere you would like to visit but have yet to have the chance to do so?

sure. the HINDU KUSH. which is on the AFGHAN/PAKISTANI border. and you could say, that the OPPORTUNITY hasn't presented itself as yet. haha. maybe 2020.

How would you describe your personal style when it comes to fashion?

I have become less the fashionista that I once might have been. such is the eternal/external enigma. too much cool chit. today I have returned to GENERICA. basic elements, minimize is maximus. having said that . . . my technical accessories are over the top.

What would you say is your most treasured possession?

I wish I could say; my children. though I don't think I actually OWN them . . . I completely TREASURE the relationships I have created with both of them. crazy love. wow. ok. it would the SHOE BOXES of money; hidden beneath the floorboards of my apartment. location undisclosed.

And lastly, what would you say is your philosophy on life?

I usually don't stand on soap boxes; quoting scripture or spouting sermons. and unfortunately my philosophy only works for me. it goes like this; it's fluid it's transitional it's moving. with time&space.
it has to be. I can't always believe in the things I thought? I have to be open to changes. I've got to find better sources; see for myself. be educated . . . learn more. it's a formula in my brain; that's always calculating. making changes and adjustments.
we have to learn how to solve problems. that's all it is. the problem is MATHEMATICS never lies. while the HUMAN equation has so many false variables. please BEWARE of those.


Thank you so very much for your participation.

the pleasure was mine; I'm quite sure. I also want to thank you MR. DAPPER. not just for your recognition of my WEBSITE and following. the time you/they/those have spent in my digital DATABASE is the reward of my LABOR of LOVE. furthermore: the ELOQUENCE with which you described photography added to the DYNAMIC of the exposure. hahahaha.

FUTURADOSMIL

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I would again like to extend my special thanks to Futura for the interview. Please do be sure to visit his daily photography diary here, the design wing at Futura Laboraties, and the Flickr stream here.

Currently playing: In A State ft. Graham Gouldman - UNKLE

xxxx

28 comments:

  1. great interview, and oh my UNKLE!

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  2. What a fabulous interview, DK! Very eloquent artist!

    xoxox,
    CC

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  3. ahaaaaaaaaa! it all makes sense now. hahah i was like...wait a second. i read the caption underneath that post about Futura 2000 ...but for some reason it didn't click. quite confused! LOL.

    i adore your own pictures though!
    it's great that you're doing your own photo diary too! am assuming you post most of them on this blog right?

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  4. nice interview!

    http://pinkchampagnefashion.blogspot.com/

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  5. You must have been so, so excited :D!
    It was probably a great experience to interview someone you admire so much.

    I took a peek at his site, and it is quite different. However, I really like it. It's easy to navigate, yet it has a very modern, sleek appeal.
    His photography is phenomenal, too. I completely see why he's one of your inspirations :D

    I love, love, LOVE his philosophy on life. Very wise and very truthful.

    xo,
    hk

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  6. excellent interview

    its funny i know a few famous graffiti artist over here in NYC
    We Were Damsels

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  7. What an extraordinary interview! Good going stranger!

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  8. wow, thanks for this awesome interview! i love reading about how people in the art industry start off.

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  9. How cool is this! Great stuff. Glad you got the interview.

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  10. really a wonderful interview. a great Friday to read it on a rainy day here. thanks.

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  11. Very cool q & a. Cutting edge.

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  12. Great interview. I love his answer on his attraction to photography.

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  13. wonderful interview,love what his first camera was and like the graphic feel of his work
    muah x
    marian

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  14. How cool for you to be able to do this! I need to send it to my daughter---she is an artist---was at Mass Art in Boston---very avant garde....she would love this interview.

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  15. awesome interview. thanks for sharing =)

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  16. oooh! thanks for sharing him! not cookie cutter work at all, very striking!

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  17. That was a very interesting interview. I will check his photos later! :-D

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  18. Fantastic interview! I need to travel more and find out what my favourite cities are too!

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  19. Such an artist! What an interesting interview DP!
    Have a lovely weekend...
    ~XO*

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  20. Awesome Intervieuw DK!!!
    really cool..
    I gave you an award :P... You can see it on my blog :D

    xx

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  21. Hey, almost completely unrelated, I was on Swipelife [don't know if you've heard it] and it's an online men's lifestyle and fashion magazine. You can check the website [swipelife.com], but the reason I'm telling you is that they are looking for more contributors
    [http://swipelife.com/page/3/] type that in and scroll down. The position would be unpaid, I would do it but I don't really know where to start with men's fashion haha. Enjoy dear =.]

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  22. VERY GOOD INTERVIEW, THE ONLY TIME I'M HAD THE CHANCE TO MEET & SPEAK WITH FUTURA HE CAME TO MY GALLERY DURING SXSW A COUPLE OF YEARS & I WAS TO FREAKED OUT & AWESTRUCK TO MAKE NORMAL SENTENCES, ANYWAY, MY AWESTRUCK SHORT COMINGS ASIDE, FANTASTIC JOB! KEEP IT UP! CHEERS
    JG

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