Hebru Brantley - 24/7 Hong Kong Monday, October 7, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Description

    This work is in good condition and is framed under Plexiglas in a wood frame.

  • Provenance

    Avenue des Arts, Hong Kong
    Acquired from the above by the present owner.

  • Exhibited

    Hong Kong, Avenue des Arts, Lord of the Flys, 11 January – 20 January 2018

  • Catalogue Essay

    With a distinctively graphic aesthetic, Hebru Brantley is known for his narrative-driven practice. His signature Flyboy character, as depicted in this present work, has followed Brantley throughout his career as he has transitioned from graffiti to canvas. Using an array of mediums and drawing from influences including hip-hop, Japanese anime and the grittiness of urban life in America, Brantley’s work is now widely known and recognized. Flyboy’s persona resonates on city street murals, sits in celebrities’ homes, is commissioned by brands such as Nike and Hublot, and is exhibited in venues including Galerie Frank Pages, Gevena (2014); Miami Art Basel (2016); and Gallery Megumi Ogita, Tokyo (2019). In Chicago, construction has even begun on ‘Nevermore Park’. The 6,000 square feet interactive art installation will welcome visitors to Flyboy’s fictional hometown.

    Executed in 2017, Flyboy is presented here masked in yellow goggles and with an outstretched clenched fist that draws from the iconography of superheroes, yet challenges their traditional interpretations. Atop a shooting missile, Flyboy pays homage to the Tsukegee Airmen, a group of African-American military aviators who fought in World War II. Brantley’s presentation of an underrepresented heroic archetype addresses ideas surrounding nostalgia and hope. Ultimately, Flyboy offers the viewer an uplifting sense of empowerment over power.

  • Artist Biography

    Hebru Brantley

    Hebru Brantley consistently explores complex ideas around nostalgia, the mental psyche, power, and hope. Majorly influenced by the South Side of Chicago's AfriCOBRA movement in the 1960s and 70s, and growing up during the 1990s graffiti scene, Brantley employs the history of mural and graffiti art as a frame to animate his own unique perception of dark fiction. Brantley's challenges the traditional view of the hero or protagonist - his character, Flyboy, was born from the notion of creating a set of characters within a canon that existed alongside Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny and Batman, through this concept of dark fiction.  Brantley’s work and characters frequently explore American culture through a fun, afro-futuristic intent, projecting what will and what can be rather than what is, whilst celebrating the concept of the black leader. Flyboy and his universe, including characters Lil Mama and Phibby are often seen looking upward in heroic stances; they summon the viewer to optimism and hope. 

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signed, titled and dated '"UNTITLED" hebru brantley 2017' on the reverse
acrylic on canvas
61.2 x 71.2 cm. (24 1/8 x 28 in.)
Painted in 2017.

HK$70,000 - 90,000 

Sold for HK$212,500

Contact Specialist

Delissa Putri Handoko
Head of Sale, 20th Century & Contemporary Art


Online Auction 9-18 October 2019