Hebru Brantley will show a selection of recent works in his first solo exhibition April 12-May 12 at kasia kay art projects. Working in two and three dimensions with paint and found objects, the Bronzeville-native explores personal and cultural memory in his exhibition “Trapped in What I Made Believe.” Taking themes from his 1980’s upbringing, Brantley uses a creative process akin to free-form journaling. 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 environments 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.
Recognized nationally for public works and solo shows in Chicago, Hebru Brantley has exhibited in Atlanta, Miami, Seattle, Los Angeles and New York, and was most recently featured in the Fountain and PooL fairs in March 2012. Two of Brantley’s paintings will be featured at the Swedish Embassy in Stockholm through 2013. Brantley earned a B.A. in Film from Clark Atlanta University, and has a background in design and media illustration. He current lives and works in Chicago.