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RIVER WARRIOR

He came, he saw, he created. renowned artist Futura and Potato Head put on quite the show with river warrior.

New York City artist Futura2000, in collaboration with Potato Head, has created two sculptures titled ‘Pointman – River Warrior’, which were unveiled in Singapore and Bali. Created using waste collected across the island of Bali, Pointman speaks to Potato Head’s ideation that sustainability can be beautiful. Initially lauded as a pioneering graffiti artist, Futura2000 is known for his ground-breaking use of abstraction in the 1980s and has always been progressive in his philosophy, methodology, and practice of art. Adjacent to his body of abstract paintings, he has developed a universe and lexicon around an otherworldly character: the Pointman. Over the years, Pointman has taken many forms across drawing, painting, and sculpture.

The collaboration with Potato Head sees Pointman emerge with a new mission in the materials of its design. River and ocean pollution has long been a central concern of Futura2000. Located on the Hudson River in New York City, the view from his studio of the Statue of Liberty is obscured by vessels transporting trash and free-floating river garbage. In reaction to this, the use of waste for the fabrication of the sculptures is a social commentary on the pollution crisis faced by both rivers and tributaries in New York City and Southeast Asia.

On 9 December, the courtyard of the OMA-designed Potato Head Studios in Bali unveiled the second River Warrior sculpture. For this Pointman, everything from motor oil bottles to discarded water gallon lids sourced by the community organisation, Yayasan Kakikita, were used. The event brought together traditional Balinese ideals with Futura2000’s urban aesthetic and featured a performance by Australian dance company Chunky Move, talks, craft beers, and Balinese food stalls.

ABOUT THE ARTIST
Futura2000 (b. Leonard Hilton McGurr, 1955, New York) is an abstract painter whose practice first developed in New York during the 1970s. One of the earliest graffiti artists to introduce abstraction into his work, Futura was also among the first graffiti artists to be shown in contemporary art galleries in the early 1980s. Early exhibitions of his work include presentations at Patti Astor’s Fun Gallery and Tony Shafrazi Gallery, as well as within the historic Times Square show of 1980, alongside Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Rammellzee, and Kenny Scharf. MoMA PS1 brought the artists together again in its landmark 1981 exhibition, New York / New Wave. Futura collaborated with the punk band The Clash during this time as well, designing their album art and painting on large-scale canvases behind the band as they performed in concert. In recent years, he created collaborative works with Takashi Murakami and exhibited them at Kaikai KiKi Gallery in Tokyo. He worked with Virgil Abloh on collections for Off-White and Louis Vuitton and staged visuals for the designer at Coachella. Futura’s work has been shown at The New Museum, New York; MOCA, Los Angeles; the Groninger Museum, the Netherlands; Yvon Lambert, Galerie De Noirmont, and the Galerie du jour agnès b., Paris. In 2020, the Noguchi Museum presented Futura Akari, an installation of Akari light sculptures customized by Futura; he created a large site-specific installation at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, and he was included in the exhibition Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip Hop Generation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

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