Hebru Brantley creates narrative-driven work revolving around his conceptualized iconic characters which are utilized to address complex ideas around nostalgia, the mental psyche, power, and hope. The color palettes, pop-art motifs, and characters themselves create accessibility around Brantley’s layered and multifaceted beliefs. Majorly influenced by the South Side of Chicago’s AfriCOBRA movement in the 1960s and 70s, Brantley uses the lineage of mural work as a frame to explore his inquiries, applying a plethora of mediums from oil, acrylic, watercolor and spray paint to non-traditional mediums such as coffee and tea. Brantley’s work challenges the traditional view of the hero or protagonist and his work insists on a contemporary and distinct narrative that shapes and impacts the viewer’s gaze.
Recognized internationally, Hebru Brantley has exhibited in Chicago, Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami, Seattle, Los Angeles and New York including Art Basel Switzerland, Art Basel Miami, Art Basel Hong Kong, and Frieze London. Brantley has been recognized in publications including CNN, the Chicago Tribune, Forbes, WWD, HypeBeast, Complex Magazine, the Chicago Sun-Times, and the New York Post.
Collectors of his work include LeBron James, Jay-Z and Beyonce, Lenny Kravitz, George Lucas, and Rahm Emanuel, among others. Brantley has collaborated with brands like Nike, Hublot, and Adidas.
In October 2019, Brantley opened an experiential fine art installation fueled by the narrative of his characters FLYBOY and LIL MAMA. The 6,000-square-foot installation in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood hosted over 23,000 ticketed guests and offered them limited-edition merchandise. Brantley currently resides in Los Angeles where he is expanding into content creation including the adaptation of the FLYBOY Universe through his media company, Angry Hero.
Brantley earned a B.A. in Film from Clark Atlanta University and has a background in Design and Media Illustration.