FUTURA 2000, Visiting Artist Speaker Series

A photograph of artist Futura2000, kneeling in front of a canvas he's painting covered in atoms.

Photo: Shilei McGurr

Date and Time

Monday, September 25, 6:30 PM

Special CFA Gallery Hours:
Noon – 6:30 PM


Center for the Arts Lecture Hall, Room 112



Related Exhibition(s)


Coincident with the opening of the survey exhibition FUTURA 2000: Breaking Out at UB Art Galleries, influential street artists FUTURA 2000 and Carlos Mare will have a public conversation about FUTURA's career and exhibition at UB Art Galleries. The CFA Gallery will be open special hours to accommodate visitors before the lecture, from noon to 6:30 PM. 

The University at Buffalo Department of Art regularly invites artists, critics, historians and designers to participate in the Visiting Artist Speaker Series, classroom lectures and critiques. The Speaker Series happens every fall semester and is free to the public. Learn More ››

Participant Bios

FUTURA (b. Leonard Hilton McGurr, 1955, New York, NY) is an abstract artist whose multi-dimensional oeuvre—expressed across painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, and graphic design—is venerated for its kinetic power and inventiveness.

Exhibitions of FUTURA's work include The New Museum, New York; MOCA, Los Angeles; the Groninger Museum, the Netherlands; Yvon Lambert, Galerie De Noirmont; the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris. In 2020, the Isamu Noguchi Museum presented FUTURA Akari, an installation of Akari light sculptures customized by FUTURA; the artist created a large site-specific installation at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris and was included in the exhibition Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip Hop Generation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

As a pioneering force when Graffiti intersected with the formal gallery ecosystem, he was the first to introduce abstraction to what was then an almost entirely letter-based genre. Exhibitions of his early work include presentations at Patti Astor's Fun Gallery and Tony Shafrazi Gallery and MoMA PS1's landmark 1981 New York/ New Wave exhibition. 

FUTURA's practice embodies the duality of select contemporary artists dedicated to advancing their fine art practice while simultaneously forging dynamic collaborations with global brands and artists of varied mediums and installation projects. Through both his creative practice and his commercial product brand and design studio company, Futura Laboratories, he has completed projects with a wide range of luxury houses and global companies such as BMW, Comme Des Garcons, Louis Vuitton, Virgil Abloh's Off-WHITE, French fashion designer Agnès b., and apparel companies such as Nike and Supreme, and A Bathing Ape. He has also created collaborative art editions with Takashi Murakami, Kenny Scharf, and the Isamu Noguchi Foundation.  


Carlos Mare, a.k.a. Carlos M. Rodriguez, a.k.a. Mare139 (b.1965) is an NYC-based  Puerto Rican American Sculptor/Painter/Scholar with a lengthy professional interdisciplinary practice in the arts. He was born and raised between NYC's Upper West Side and South Bronx through its most tumultuous period of decay and earliest days of an emerging culture to be named Hip Hop in the early 80s. Mare gained early acclaim as a child for painting subway trains and his appearance in the famed documentary Style Wars in 1983. Over the years he would go on to pioneer Modern Graffiti Sculpture and painting, contemporary Academia about Hip Hop culture, and venture into technology with Digital Graffiti, notably launching Hip Hop online during the earliest years of the internet and subsequently earning the prestigious Webby Award for producing the Style Wars website in 2006.

Among his most known projects is the designing of the Annual BET Awards sculpture (Black Entertainment Award) in 2001. Award winners include Stevie Wonder, Prince, Beyonce, JayZ, Kanye West, Kobe Bryant, and Halle Berry among others.

Throughout the years' Mare has always committed himself to all disciplines of creativity especially fine art, technology, and education, often lecturing at Universities and Museums globally and touring as a US State Department Cultural Ambassador for Urban Art. In 2019 he became a founding member and curator of the Museum of Graffiti in Miami and in 2021 he launched M139 Design Studio for his multifaceted artistic practices. Mare currently runs his art studio and practice out of Southern Florida and continues to lecture and exhibit his sculptures, paintings, and drawings. His work is now in the Museum of Modern Art collection, and Pera Art Museum. Most recently he lectured in Saudi Arabia at Ithra- The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture. Forthcoming in 2022 is an exhibition of his Bboy Abstract sculptures for Beyond the Streets- Shanghai, China, Next Wave: New Contemporaries of the Abstract Moment- at the Ft. Wayne Museum of Art, Carrie Furnace- Pittsburgh- Grit and Graffiti residency at Rivers of Steel, Breaking Paris- 2024 Olympics

Program Date: September 25, 2023