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In ‘Beyond the Beyond,’ Hebru Brantley’s Flyboy sits languidly atop a jet rocket. Brantley’s character is instantly recognizable with his goggles, aviator’s cap, and red neckerchief. Through Flyboy, the Chicago artist creates an impish vunderkind, decking him out in the costume of a superhero and imbuing in him the virtues every superman possesses. Though reminiscent of vintage comic book graphics and manga style cartoons, the artist’s reimagining of the superhero as a young black boy is both novel and necessary in contemporary America.
Published by Hebru Brand Studios, Chicago
No apparent condition issues; sealed in original packaging.
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Hebru Brantley (American, b. 1981) is a contemporary painter and sculptor whose work touches on arduous subjects in a way that may be easily digestible to the viewer, by telling his stories through youthful characters and their adventures in a comic book-style. Inspired by his childhood as an African American in 1980s Chicago, Brantley’s work can be described as an infusion of contemporary pop art with Japanese anime, and the bold aesthetics of street art pioneers Jean Michel Basquiat, Kaws and Keith Haring. While spray paint is often at the forefront of his mixed-media illustrations, Brantley utilizes a plethora of mediums from oil, acrylic, and watercolor to non-traditional mediums like coffee and tea. Describing himself as an Afro-futurist, Brantley’s energetic narratives combine realistic events with imaginative, fantastical fiction, to create fragmented compositions that evoke sentimental nostalgia and inspirational confidence.