Hebru Brantley: Rare Norm Artist of the Day

Meet Hebru Brantley, the graffito artist turned painter who has been hard at work perfecting his craft.

With accolades and collectors with familiar names such as Jay-Z George Lucas, DJ Drama (who is actually a friend of his), The Jordan Brand, Nike, Adidas,  and many that will go unmentioned.


Over the past decade he has built quite a portfolio for himself as well as others. Some of his work commands upwards of $100,000.

Brantley has been featured in numerous galleries worldwide (London, Switzerland, San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami, Seattle, Los Angeles, and New York).

Photo by Clayton Hauck for Chicago Magazine

Photo by Clayton Hauck for Chicago Magazine

Born in Bronzeville, Chicago, growing up in the city was tough and it shows forth in his art. He used the city of Chicago as his canvas. Coming up as an graffiti artist in such a big city, you have to be creative to be noticed.

wicker park wall

Wicker Park Wall by Hebru Brantley

He drew on trains, freight cars, and walls all over Chicago. Brantley’s work draw heavily from the comic books his 1980’s upbringing.



hebru- Flynamic Duo and bout it

Flynamic Duo and Bout It by Hebru Brantley

hebru- the watch

The Watch by Hebru Brantley

hebru- parade day rain install

Parade Day Rain Install by Hebru Brantley



He paints certain narratives based on both his own experiences and influences. His bio on his website hebrubrantley reads:

“Brantley’s work touches on tough subjects in a way that may be easily digestible to the viewer, by telling his stories through youthful characters and their adventures. Brantley’s work can be described as pop infused contemporary art inspired by Japanese anime and the bold aesthetics of street art pioneers Jean Michel Basquiat, Kaws and Keith Haring. While spray paint is often at the forefront of his mixed-media illustrations, Brantley utilizes a plethora of mediums from oil, acrylic and watercolor to non-traditional mediums like coffee and tea.”

hebru-Captain oh my captain

Captain oh My Captain by Hebru Brantley

hebru-Keep In on the Loww

Brantley takes well to his  mother’s advice as a daily guide: “Be shark-like, always moving, never stopping”.

Brantley has big plans for the future. “To hear Brantley tell it, his rapid rise is due as much to his role as a savvy salesman and networker as to his art. “It’s all about growth. I want to do films, heavy licensing deals. I want to run the whole gamut,” he says. “I want people to come out of the shower and step on a Hebru Brantley rug.” – Chicagomag.com. You could say that he is taking well to his late mother’s advice to: “Be shark-like. Always moving, never stopping.”

hebru-Ridin high

Ridin’ High by Hebru Brantley

Check out his website at www.hebrubrantley.com.

Hebru Brantley by Kristie Kahns Photograph