‘It’s a Chess Game’: Artists Futura and Daniel Arsham on How to Stay Independent While Collaborating With Big Corporations

Daniel Arsham by Guillhaume Zicarelli and Futura by ShiLei Wang.

In these turbulent times, creativity and empathy are more necessary than ever to bridge divides and find solutions. Artnet News’s Art and Empathy Project is an ongoing investigation into how the art world can help enhance emotional intelligence, drawing insights and inspiration from creatives, thought leaders, and great works of art.

In the land of crossover culture, there are few artists as knowledgeable as Futura and Daniel Arsham.

Futura (born Leonard Hilton McGurr) made his career by becoming an enormously influential graffiti artist in the 1970s, painting works all over New York’s subways, and, a decade later, exhibiting work alongside Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, and Kenny Scharf.

Arsham, meanwhile, collaborates frequently with major brands like Dior and Rimowa, and was recently named Creative Director for the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

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