Euclid was a mathematician who wrote “Elements”, a textbook on geometry that was a easy reference to use and employed rigorous mathematical proofs that are still in use 2000+ years later. His name is anglicized from a Greek word that means “reknowned, glorious”. His name was given to a remarkable station in the New York Transit system, Euclid Avenue on the A and C line. Construction on Euclid Avenue started before WW2, was stopped during the war due to material shortages, and was finished after the war with a burst of optimism and technology. The station was the first on the line to have florescent lighting, and the first in the system to have Interlocking NX switching, which allowed a train operator to control track switching, instead of a worker in a distant signal tour. This Technology allowed a train operator to click a switch and lay up a train after the rush hour on Friday on one of the 4 tracks west of the station, and then return monday morning and pull the train back into service, on their own, no waiting.
Technology was always very good for one of Euclid’s kids, who was born the year before Euclid Ave opened, who saw “2001” as a 13 year old and a few years later thought the name Future 2000 fit him well. Then when he heard the lilt of “Foo-Two-Ra” from a Puerto-Rican girlfriend and realized it was really Futura 2000 he was meant to be. So he came to be, one fall night in 1980, when his friend Dondi took him to the Euclid Avenue lay up and Futura painted the greatest whole car in graffiti history, the BREAK car. I won’t waste a word to describe it, except to say the only black on the car, besides the smallish word BREAK and the writer’s elegant signature, are geometric shapes; Triangles, rectangles and circles, that call back across the oceans of time to Euclid, like a message left on an answering machine.
Futura is reminiscing on that night, but he’s recalling another message and another machine, a message he left for eminent street photographer Martha Cooper on her answering machine. This technology enabled the communication, “There’s a train pulling out of Euclid at 6:48am, northbound on the operator’s side” and Marty was able to catch the freshly painted car, “in the wild”. It was that received message that enabled the glorious reknown of Futura 2000.
Theres so much more to say, the only problem is to say it. So let me at least say Thank you Futura, this is me holding you as tight as I can, you know, without being TOO weird about it, and since I’m operating this train, I will hit a switch and make this segue to selling this new shirt from ESPO’s Art world, HOLD TIGHT. we’ll be live printing this on 10/20 and if you can’t visit that day and get it printed for free, you can buy it now.
And while on I’m on this track here is something from the elevated line out west Philly. Knocked On Your Door is a hand pulled 9 color print printed by 4th Ave Press in the basement of ESPO’s Art World. It is printed on 300 gsm Coventry Rag and is in a signed and numbered edition of 50. We also have an additional 10 put aside for doodling done in the spirit of my graffiti forebears. The price of the print is $300 and the extras are $500 each. plus shipping.