Opening reception with the artist, Saturday, February 4, 6-10pm
Hebru Brantley, the Chicago based world-renowned artist, debuts his second solo show at Vertical Gallery with Eat Crap King. The exhibit will be on display at Vertical Gallery, 1016 N. Western Ave., Chicago, from February 4 – 25, 2017.
Brantley’s pop-infused contemporary art is inspired by Japanese anime and the bold aesthetics of street art pioneers Jean-Michel Basquiat, KAWS and Keith Haring. Eat Crap King explores the relationship between the two major contemporary art archetypes of Basquiat and Andy Warhol. Placing the two artistic celebrities in the same two-dimensional frame, it fosters inquiries of power, race and the true nature of the celebrity relationship. The work considers the chasm between the two in their artistic careers. Warhol became a representative of the traditional institutionalized art world status, while Basquiat remained more rebellious and navigated the art world through non-conforming means previous to his death.
Additionally, Eat Crap King exposes similarities between Brantley and Basquiat’s identity and modes of operation throughout the art world. Brantley’s non-traditional relationship between street art and the art world mirrors his muse. Eat Crap King subversively probes at the art world’s lineage by using familiar, iconic Pop-Art imagery and contemporary art archetypes. The series inspects hierarchy and status, while also reflecting on Brantley’s identity and the merging of the traditional and non-conformity within his career.
Recognized nationally for public works and solo shows, Hebru Brantley has exhibited in Chicago, London, Geneva, San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami, Seattle, Los Angeles and New York including Art Basel Switzerland, Art Basel Miami, Scope NYC and Frieze London. He has collaborated with Cadillac, Adidas, Nike, Red Bull and Skyy Vodka, among others, and has a roster of clients including George Lucas, Jay-Z, LeBron James, Lupe Fiasco, Tyra Banks and Swizz Beats. His work has been featured in national and international magazines and newspapers, including Graffiti Arts Magazine, Ebony, Jet, New York Post, The Seattle Times, Chicago Tribune, and Chicago Sun-Times. Brantley earned a B.A. in Film from Clark Atlanta University, and has a background in design and media illustration.