If you're a resident of the city of Chicago, chances are you've noticed street artist illustrator and fine art painter, Hebru Brantely has taken on the Chicago art scene by storm. Not only will you find him in galleries, such as Vertical Gallery in Bucktown, but you can also find his art popping up all over Chicago neighborhoods - just keep an eye out for his signature style and acclaimed characters, such as his anime inspired "Fly Boy, Fly Girl and Friends."
|Nike Running Bucktown mural by ©Hebru Brantely|
Friday June 6th marked the opening of Hebru's solo exhibition "Memoirs of the Minimum Wage" at Vertical Gallery, a cozy Bucktown gallery that caters to urban, contemporary and street art. This date also marked the completion of Brantley's recent addition to the Wabash Arts Corridor titled, "Chi Boy." Brantely joins the likes of Shepard Fairey (OBEY series, Obama HOPE), Celon Peterson, POSE and RETNA who already have large-scale artworks featured indefinitely as part of the Wabash Arts Corridor. The mural "Chi Boy" is part of the growth and expansion of Chicago's major emerging art scene in the South Loop, though it is far from the first outdoor mural composed by the artist who has numerous works across the city and was commissioned by Nike in the past to create a mural on the side of their Bucktown location.
|"Chi Boy" 1132 S. Wabash mural by ©Hebru Brantley|
|"Off Duty" by ©Hebru Brantley|
The work on exhibition at Vertical Gallery is much smaller-scale than works I've seen of Brantely's in the past, whether in pop up shows or as installations such his "The Watch" a sixteen figure sculpture arrangement erected on Michigan Avenue featuring a variety of colorful young super heroes. Though the size is significantly scaled back in comparison, the work remains as powerful as ever. These intimate mixed media works read as childhood illustrations, created in a variety of mediums that include acrylic paint on canvas, water color and ink, charcoal on paper, resin and acrylic sculptures and limited edition screen prints. Each image is construed in the same world, a colorful cartoon-land with endless possibilities coexisting with harsh realities. Hebru is honest when portraying his hometown of Chicago, a city with a lot of talent, passion and promise that is still suffering from violence, poverty and corruption.
Right: "Back in Time" ©Hebru Brantely Left: "Fly Boy, Fly Boy" ©Hebru Brantley
|"The Watch" by ©Hebru Brantley|
|"The Parade Commences" ©Darryll Schiff All Rights Reserved|
Both Hebru Brantely and Darryll Schiff are socially mindful artists offering their perspective of life, and more commonly, life in the urban sprawl of Chicago Illinois. Both artists call Chicago their hometown and place of work. Check out their websites to see more art: hebrubrantley.com and schiff-art.com
Stay tuned for more news on fine art photographer Darryll Schiff, the Chicago art scene and exciting announcements regarding the Wabash Arts Corridor! - Lauren Ike