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”.
Andrew Hem has been painting all his life, first as a graffiti artist in his teenage years and now as a full-time exhibiting artist on a worldwide scale. We first featured Hem’s art on the cover of Hi-Fructose Vol. 21 and here on our blog, a culmination of his travels and a haunting view of the world, which he fills with floating and wandering figures over diverse landscapes.
Matthias Gephart is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Berlin, Germany, who is revisiting his roots in graffiti in a project that incorporates his creative interests. “Stylewise, my personal background is the underground and alternative music scene, graffiti writing and Dadaist collage,” Gephart shares. Since 2010, he has been transforming neglected spaces with his graffiti that combines graphic design and collage visuals, taking the idea of mural painting to the expanse of an entire room. He calls this project “The Magic Moment.”
You may know Czech artist Jan Kaláb, aka “POINT” (used for his sculptures), aka “Cakes” (used for his traditional graffiti), and the founder of street art crew the “DSK”. He is credited as one of the first artists to bring urban art into Eastern European countries after the borders opened up in the early 90s. Kaláb’s work has seen an evolution since his abstract graffiti writing, where in recent years, he has translated his street art style onto canvas and hand-painted geometric sculptures.
Elements from Brazilian folk culture like kites, air balloons and the traditional apparel are the inspiration for Brazilian street artist Raphael Sagarra aka Finok’s colorful body of work. The São Paulo based artist first entered the world of graffiti at a young age with the VLOK crew, which also included artists like Os Gêmeos and Nunca. In an email to Hi-Fructose, Finok explained that his new work is a reflection on “human positioning throughout life, and how we are always trying to see both sides of the coin in every situation”.
Brisbane based Fintan Magee, featured on our blog, became a part of his hometown’s graffiti culture in his early teens, but his strong interest in classical painting made him change his creative output. After years of mural painting in and around his homeland, Magee slowly built his international resume, and his surrealist figurative murals can be found around the globe. The images in his large scale murals, paper, and canvas works depict our everyday being through photo-realistic details, juxtaposed with less detailed, sometimes expressive, elements. Covering the relationship between man and nature, his paintings often tell stories of struggle, loss, migration, conflict, with an individual and global state of mind. Magee’s upcoming solo show, “Water World”, which opens on December 4th at Blackwoods Gallery in Melbourne, revolves around the 2011 floods in Brisbane.