BravinLee programs is very pleased to present Future (Perfect), a survey of gouaches on board by the legendary concept designer and Futurist Syd Mead. Future (Perfect) at BravinLee programs represents an almost unprecedented appearance of Syd Mead’s work in a commercial art gallery.

Syd Mead is among the most celebrated concept designers in the world. His well-known film work includes designs for Blade Runner, TRON, Aliens, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Johnny Mnemonic and 2010. He has designed toys, consumer electronics, hotel bars, luxury jet interiors and recently designed the spectacular Bar Basque in the Eventi Hotel on the corner of 29th Street and Sixth Avenue in Chelsea.

Mead’s vision of the future is sleek, erotic, and glamorous. It is populated by impeccably dressed, trim and tanned 1%ers and smartly uniformed worker bees. Mead is fond of portraying the arrival of guests or travelers in the act of greeting their hosts, which allows him to focus on the vehicle in the context of a short narrative sequence. The fantastic conjectural machines seem more plausible when placed in a richly detailed context and in a familiar situation. With few exceptions, Mead’s future is utopian, free from famine, litter, security lines, corpulent tourists in cargo shorts, white socks and traffic snarls. Almost invariably the result of a client’s commission, Mead once described his work as the lubricant for capitalism...  

In 1983, Mead was commissioned to design the interior of King Fah’d’s 747. Mead states, “That was an enormous challenge. I had to fit a very complex geometry and furnishings into a 747 hull, and the first thing you have to think about is everything has to come through that door because the plane is [already] made. I designed some of these spaces with a geometric precision, linked all the spaces together by vector points. The [engineers] tried to change them and they couldn’t, everything came apart.” Included in the exhibition is Mead’s yacht design commissioned by Saudi businessman Adnan Khashoggi.

In 2006, the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum recognized Mead’s singular career at the National design Awards, selecting him as the recipient of its Special Jury Commendation. Also in this same year, filmmaker Joaquin Motalvan made an independent film documentary of him called “Visual Futurist”, which premiered on July 23rd, 2006 at the Dances with Films Festival in Los Angeles, CA.

“The future starts one second from now; you must prepare for the future and believe that it will happen in a nice way.” Syd Mead, 2005