Arts & Entertainment

The School of Abstraction


Lesson time 05:20 min

There are no rules when it comes to abstract art. In this lesson, Futura describes his kinetic approach to painting and reveals a brand-new piece called TEMPO TANTRUM that incorporates all the skills you will learn in the class.

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Topics include: Painting TEMPO TANTRUM


[MUSIC PLAYING] FUTURA: When I'm painting, I'm not following a road map I've drawn for myself. I'm having a conversation with my canvas. I'm just following impulses. And I guess, enabling myself to do that, to give myself the freedom to just go. And don't even check yourself. Just go. So to me, abstraction simply means the absence of definition by any other classic form, landscape, illustration, realism. You know, something that's very specific, as opposed to something that's not. And absent of form, you get into the abstract. I'm not relying on someone's definition of, hey, your anatomy is off. That hand's horrible. Or, no, the trees need to have shade and coming from-- look, it's the afternoon light. And all of these kind of considerations are fine, and all these other applications, but for me, it doesn't work. You know, I'm not that type of artist. In the abstract realm, it's what I determine it to be. When I first started painting, I was compared to an artist named Kandinsky, a Russian constructivist. I never heard of him. Didn't know about Russian constructivism. And I was a little bit insulted, because I never heard of him. So how could I be influenced by someone I never heard of? But I also remember thinking at that time, well, this is amazing. You know, I'm actually being compared to a real artist. That's cool. Once I heard of these abstract references they were making in my work, I did go to libraries. I did look at books. I did learn about these artists. But I'd like to think that even in an abstract world, I'm still not one of the lines in that track. I like to always feel whatever I'm doing, don't label me per se. Allow me the individuality to constantly try to be different and evolve, I think also. I think evolution is also very important. [MUSIC PLAYING] So now I'm going to share with you a finished painting. Everything is there that I'm trying to convey. The bits of negative space, of course, rather than a full on frenzy of all this kind of activity, which would've changed the nature of the painting. It would have just made it more dark, more dense, more deep. There's a little bit of light in here, a little bit of airiness. It's got everything I'm sort of trying to get out of my work, and a sense of, there's a bit of-- it's not anger. But there are some, I don't know, like, aggressive strokes, which are combined with the precision it takes to do that against the arbitrary nature of just a drip, which I can't control. So obviously, this section is premeditated drips. And you know, I wanted that. Because at the same time, drips give you a sense of direction. I mean, if you see a drip that's actually upside down, you would know it was upside down. So why not let gravity and nature have its way? When it comes to naming paintings, it's like children. You want to sometimes come up with a cool, interesting name for your child. And I have got a lot of kids. So I always give title...

About the Instructor

A pioneering painter and street artist, Futura has exhibited at institutions like the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, collaborated with Louis Vuitton and Supreme, and created album art for The Clash. Now he’s teaching you his signature, kinetic approach to abstract art. Learn how to express yourself and paint with color, dimension, and detail. All you need to create art is an idea and a can of spray paint.

Featured Masterclass Instructor


Pioneering abstract graffiti artist, Futura teaches you how to create art with a can of spray paint and an idea.

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