Hebru Brantley, a Bronzeville-native living and working in Chicago, explores personal and cultural memory in his art. Born in 1981, Brantley earned a B.A. in Film from Clark Atlanta University, and has a background in design and media illustration.
Taking themes from his 1980’s upbringing, Brantley uses a creative process akin to free-form journaling, using a variety of surfaces and media including wood, spray paint, coffee and tea. His work delves into political and social issues with a conscious focus on playful insight and the optimism and possibilities of youth.
Brantley draws influence from an array of pop culture icons, comic book heroes, Japanese anime and the bold aesthetics of street art pioneers Jean Michel Basquiat, Kaws and Keith Haring. Brantley’s recent focus is to share energetic narratives, moments of reality from his life and the lives of his peers, mixed with fantastical fiction, to create a fragmented environment of make believe. Spray paint is often at the forefront of these mixed-media illustrations, working in part to de-contextualize the levity of cartoon imagery, and bring a critical edge into the white cube. From this, Brantley has developed his own unique style and identifies as an Afro-Futurist.
Recognized nationally for public works and solo shows in Chicago, Hebru Brantley has exhibited in San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami, Seattle, Los Angeles and New York, among others. He was the winner of the Redbull Curates Chicago contest, and exhibited at Scope art fair in December 2012. Brantley has been commissioned by Skyy Vodka, Nike and Tyra Banks. He created the Lollapalooza poster for the 25th anniversary of the festival in 2011, and is exhibited regularly by Tim Yarger Gallery in Beverly Hills.
|Year||Name of the exhibition||Museum/Gallery||Solo/Group|
|2012||Trapped in What I Made Believe||Kasia Kay Project Space, Chicago||solo|
|2012||Visions of Our 44th President||Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit||group|
|2012||Street Images: The City Speaks Through Art||Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago||group|
|2012||Brothers of the Robbing Hood||The Ultra Gallery, Lacuna Artist Loft, Chicago||solo|
|2011||Afro-Futurism: Impossible View||Zhou B. Gallery, Chicago||solo|
|2011||Group Show||FM Gallery, Chicago||group|
|2011||Yesterday’s Losers||Lacuna Artist Lofts, Chicago||solo|
|2010||Lions Disquised as Lambs||Punctuation Gallery, Seattle||solo|
|2010||National Wet Paint||Zhou Brothers Gallery, Chicago||group|
|2010||Whup yo Kids||Silver Room Gallery, Chicago||solo|
|2010||Wait A Cotton Pick’n Minute||Lyons Wier Gallery, New York||group|
|2010||Common Ground||Elephant Room Gallery, Chicago||group|
|2009||Fade Resistant||Three Peas Art Lounge, Chicago||solo|
|2008||A Place to Lay my Head||Artistic Genius, Chicago||solo|
|2008||Phase||University of Chicago, Little Black Pearl Workshop, Chicago||solo|
|2008||4 Ward Mural Exhibition (Lead Muralist)||QCDC, Chicago||solo|
|2008||Art, Beats and Lyrics||Atlanta||group|
|2008||Back Talk||Grid Gallery, Chicago||solo|
|2008||Young Bloods||32nd & Urban, Chicago||group|
|2008||Beyond the imagination||4Art Inc., Chicago||group|
|2007||Nevermore||Leaders 1354, Chicago||solo|
|2007||Scion Group Show||Heaven Gallery, Chicago||group|
|2007||Next Black Masters||Hennessey Collection, New York||solo|
|2006||Water Babies||Listenbee Collection, Chicago||solo|
|2006||Gravity is Too Expensive||Moka Gallery, Chicago||group|
|2005||Arts, Beats, and Lyrics 2||High Museum, Atlanta||group|
|2005||Scion Art Installation Ricky Powell||D’jango’s, Atlanta||group|
|2004||Art, Beats, and Lyrics 1||The Five Spot, Atlanta||group|