Graffiti Artist Futura (aka Leonard McGurr ) started his illegal painting career back in 1974, in New York City’s subway.
As time passed he become popular after painting backdrops live on-stage for the punk rock band The Clash. From this point, his career skyrocketed, and he became part of urban art movements like the VLP’s initiative.
Recently he explored a graphic design career and still produces graffiti as a gallery artist. Something that kept consistent on his art during all his career is the atom signature. The artist is suing North Face for allegedly copying and using his signature atom design. The famous brand would use it in its new line “Futurelight”.
This suit was filed in the Central District of California, last Tuesday 12th, and claims that not only the design is very similar, but also North Face’s line name with his street artist name (“Futurelight” vs “Futura”). “The similarity of the graphic design and the names is no coincidence”, he said.
Futura has worked with big brands in the past. Nike, Uniqlo, Off White, Supreme and Comme des Garçons are some of these, so he knows the drill. Thus, he wants compensation and is demanding that North Face “immediately recall and remove all infringing products from the marketplace.”
This suit is the first time that the artist is involved in a process like this. “This is not something I wanted to do, but I was left with no choice”, he said on an interview to Page Six.
Perhaps this legal process helps the artist community, and warn big brands about stealing the creative work from others.
McGurr’s career still has a lot to offer and is likely that his work will know more now after all this shocking news. You can learn more of his work in MoMa and MOCA LA museums websites. You can also check one of his more recent work on his solo show at Eric Firestone Gallery in NoHo, where he was named the “King of Graffiti”.