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Brooklyn Street Art

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FUTURA At The Houston Wall, Heart of the Concrete Jungle

Posted on September 22, 2015

The Houston Street Wall took a turn for the abstract, atmospheric, and the futurist imaginings of New York artist Futura these last few days. Pushing his own borders and in a reductionist state of mind, the graffiti writer abandons the splashy colors and recalls the monochrome pallet of the NYC train yards he ventured into as a teen; black of night, steel grey, the glint of light on the tracks that lead out through the city.

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Futura. Houston Wall. September 2015. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Stepping back and leaning in you can see the exposed vertical trussing of an NYC that always under construction with cranes stirring the sky; once building factories now high-rises and thin ultra luxe finger towers, these steel structures are adorned with ivy, razor wire, plastic bags fluttering in the gritty breeze.

As he sat cross-legged on the pavement before his “Concrete Jungle” for a cluster of photographers while holding open the double page spread of his 1980 train paintings, “Break,” only Martha Cooper could claim to shoot both this scene and the one thirty five years earlier.

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Futura. Houston Wall. September 2015. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This wall can sometimes feel like a backdrop for a family reunion, with all manner of friends, associates, peers, culture critics, photographers, fans, family, writers, photographers, fashion models, and selfie-stick carrying tourists stopping by to check the progress and say hello.

With hometown hero Futura at the brush, this heart of a concrete jungle becomes more of resting place by a tree, a welcoming urban oasis without the rose-colored glasses. Actually, now that you think of it, this guy posing gamely with open arms and happily signing your sketchbook or dollar bill does have red reading frames on, and his New York stories smooth over the rough patches and frequently look for a positive tone to strike.

As you see him painting and creating his massive piece in-the-moment here while people swarm by, cars honk their horns, trucks roar their engines, and sirens scream, it strikes you that this is New York then and this is New York now, thanks to the truly contemporary Futura.

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Futura. Houston Wall. September 2015. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Futura. Houston Wall. September 2015. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Futura. Houston Wall. September 2015. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Futura. Houston Wall. September 2015. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Futura. Houston Wall. September 2015. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Futura. Houston Wall. September 2015. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Futura. Houston Wall. September 2015. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Futura. Houston Wall. September 2015. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Futura. Houston Wall. September 2015. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Futura. Houston Wall. September 2015. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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