Often depicted as bored, restless youngsters, Hebru Brantley’s solitary heroes exist between two worlds: their mundane realities and their boisterous imaginations, which Brantley depicts as a cacophony of black-and-white characters and scribbled text. Sometimes the imaginary layer of the work is kept to a quiet whisper, and other times it takes over the entire canvas and we know we are in the land of make-believe. There is a sense of naïveté in Brantley’s characters that evokes the child-like beings of Yoshitomo Nara. Like Nara, Brantley’s work appears flat at a first glance, but is executed with painterly, thick brushstrokes that add a sense of depth and dimension. Having exhibited extensively throughout the US, the artist recently unveiled his UK debut, “Everyone’s Everything” at Mead Carney Fine Art in London. At their core, the paintings in the exhibition are a love letter to the imagination, and an invitation for the viewers to tap into a childlike sense of wonder in themselves.
Hebru Brantley’s “Everyone’s Everything” is on view at Mead Carney through May 3.