FUTURA- Shafrazi Invite 1984

FUTURA- Shafrazi Invite 1984. Measures 6" x 18" inches. From the Collection of Rich Colicchio Gallery 51X

51X Gallery
Rich Colicchio

After graduating from school of visual arts in 1980 I faced the usual dilemma of a fine artist. How do I get my work into galleries? The idea of trudging from one Soho gallery to another with my slides depressed me. I realized the only way to get exposure was to do it myself. So in 1981, in a storefront at 51 St. Marks Place, 51X Gallery was born. Created as an alternative to the Soho and 57th St. gallery system, 51X had the distinction of being one of the first artist run gallery's in the East Village.

From 1981- 1984, 51X produced a variety of exhibitions featuring the artists who defined the downtown scene. In presenting shows by Dondi , Crash, Futura, Zephyr and Revolt, among others, 51X aided greatly in shaping and giving impetus to the graffiti art movement.

About the Artist


Futura work is increasing more difficult to find as his star continues to rise.
Born in 1955 in New York, Leonard Hilton McGurr, otherwise known as Futura 2000 is an internationally acclaimed graffiti artist. Futura started tagging as a youth in the early 1970s, during this time he worked alongside and was heavily influenced by respected subway artist ALI. Futura’s artistic style is characterized by his abstract approach to street art. During the 1980s, graffiti art predominantly focused on lettering, Futura’s work was less literal. The abstract style of street art pioneered by Futura 2000 has been highly influential and has become increasingly popular as a result. In 1981 Futura toured with band ‘The Clash’, during this time he began creating graffiti works ‘legally’ as a live on-stage painter for the group. His involvement with ‘The Clash’ led to the creation of some of his most prolific work as both a designer and illustrator of record sleeves. Futura has also worked in conjunction with British DJ James Lavelle in order to create imagery that has largely defined the DJs increasingly successful ‘UNKLE’ project. Recently, Futura has teamed up with a variety of large name brands including, Nike, North Face, Medicom Toy and Levi’s, in order to produce collectible toys, sneakers and a diverse range of creative media. Futura also works and designs for his Japan based clothing label ‘Futura Laboratories’. He has exhibited at venues the world over including ICA (London, UK), Solaria (Fukaoka, JP), TBM Experiment (Rome, IT), and Gallery du Jour (Paris, FR), among various others.