Expressing his active imagination and fantasies, Hebru Brantley’s comic book-style compositions address his own experiences of African American and urban life in America. Having grown up tagging trains, walls, and other city surfaces as part of the 1990s graffiti scene, Brantley now creates mixed-media paintings and sculptures that aptly reflect the street’s energy and aesthetic. He credits the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat with sparking his realization that street art was viable and valuable. Speaking of his youth, he says: “We’d scratch-bomb on trains, tag freight cars…do throw-ups across the city. It was all about getting your name up wherever you could.” Defining himself as an Afro-futurist, Brantley draws from a range of influences—including Keith Haring, African American history, hip-hop, anime, and manga.
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