Hebru Brantley (featured here) is well known for his pop-infused paintings and sculptures of child-like heroes inspired by Japanese anime and graffiti. Growing up in Chicago in the midst of gang culture, Brantley has expressed that “when all else failed, I could turn to art”, turning his reality into a fantasy world. He is constantly looking to create imagery that evokes emotion and tells stories, particularly of youth. Having traveled all over the world to exhibit his art, he is now making his Pittsburgh debut with “I Wish I Knew How It Felt to Be Free”.
Brantley describes his new body of work, on view at August Wilson Center in Pittsburgh, PA, as an exploration into the human experience of emotion. Comprised of new paintings, large scale murals, and colorful sculptural works of his characters, the show depicts “the effects of every day triumphs and tribulations, while exploring the ideas of growth and change” that stem from each in his pieces. “This exhibition is an extension of my art practice and exploration into a new realm of creativity,” says Brantley.
“With “I Wish I Knew How It Felt to Be Free”, I am allowing pieces of the collection to reach viewers in a completely different fashion and hoping the audience can gain a new perspective on the most traditional methods of creating art. My goal is to have a place in art history and in community dialogue and to constantly evoke a change. I hope this exhibition speaks to that.” “I Wish I Knew How It Felt to Be Free” is on view at August Wilson Center in Pittsburgh, PA through July 8th.