Hebru Brantley: The Chicago-based Artist Seeks to Engage, Not Intimidate
By// Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond
Jay-Z may have dropped a reported $20,000 on a Brantley original at the recent Art Basel Miami Beach art fair, but Chicago-based Hebru Brantley is far from going Hollywood. Instead of leveraging the PR surrounding his blingy patron, the 31-year-old is zeroing in on his passion: creating work that “triggers an emotion.”
Brantley developed his enthusiasm for art by experiencing a range of influences. His family placed a
premium on appreciating craftwork, from the post-modern and art deco prints that adorned the walls of his childhood home to the posters and comic books he collected as a kid. “Instead of buying those two pairs of shoes at $200 or $150, I would save that money, stash it, and go get a small piece,” he recalls. But it wasn’t only artistry that sparked Brantley.
“I have so many different affinities for different things, whether it’s music, movies, television, literature,” he adds. “We don’t have to just settle for one type of thing.”
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