ART: Hebru Brantley “Wait A Cotton Pick’N Minute” 9/10-10/10 NYC

posted on September 5th 2010 in Art & Culture Capture Champs & Design & Frolaborators & NYC with 3 Comments



Friday, September 10, 2010

6:00 – 9:00 pm

Exhibition Dates:

September 10 – October 10, 2010

Gallery Hours: Monday – Saturday 11-7, Sunday 12-6

Gallery Located: 175 Seventh Avenue on the NE corner of 20th and 7th Ave.

Nearest Subway: C, E exit 23rd @ 8th Ave., 1, 9 exit 23rd @ 7th Ave.

Contact: Michael Lyons Wier,

Press Release and images from Hebru & Christophe under the cut

Mass Media meets Mass Production: New works by Chicago natives Hebru

Brantley and Christophe Roberts will be presented at Lyons Wier

Gallery in concurrent exhibitions that blur the boundaries between

fine art, social commentary and consumer products. Each artist will

present a body of work that engages and navigates contemporary urban

realities with critical wit, precision, agility, and vision.

Hebru Brantley presents “Wait a Cotton Picking Minute”

From the absurd and blatant to the subtle and subversive, Hebru

Brantley’s work explores the stereotypes and racist propaganda found

in American mass media, such as early Warner Brothers and Disney

cartoons. What emerges is an intelligent and vivid deconstruction of

America’s social history and the chilling possibility that we have all

in someway been infected by the same subliminal, racially insensitive

media virus.

Brantley’s subjects are often cinematic, gleaned from “Blaxploitation”

films and science fiction thrillers. His spray-painted and

stylistically brushed canvases show the influence of Romare Bearden,

Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Black Folk Art. The raw

emotion and youthful expression in Brantley’s work depicts themes of

race like an open, unhealed wound. The characters in Brantley’s art,

such as his “Coon Toons” series, reveals our shared past co-mingling

with our present consciousness and sensitivities.

How should we deal with our racial history and all the artifacts that

come along with it? Do we bury the offending materials and pretend it

never existed or do we inject the materials into the ongoing public

dialogue about race and racism in America? These questions serve as

both impetus and fodder for Brantley’s work. The magic and mythology

of childhood animation meets a fitting analysis, through a young

artist whose critical eye dismantles the soft power of this


More of Hebru’s work

Christophe Roberts presents “Journey of a Thousand Eyes”

By collecting and re-purposing Nike shoeboxes, Christophe Roberts

creates striking and meaningful life-size sculptures of wild animals

that invite the viewer to consider the environmental impact of the

production, sale and consumption of consumer goods.

Made with found materials, spray paint, cardboard and glue, minus the

aid of blueprints, Roberts’ beasts are constructed in a freestyle

manner from the depths of the artist’s imagination. The sculptures can

at once be viewed as visual metaphors for consumerism and society’s

general disregard for its wastefulness. Nike’s main advertising pitch

aims at convincing the public that their product can impart health,

physical acumen and sexual allure. However, the by-product of this

positioning is tons of waste generated by the disposal of the

packaging itself.

One’s immediate reaction to Roberts’ work is that it could be an

exaltation of corporate branding. Upon further examination it becomes

clear that Roberts is using art to remind of us that the animals he

creates are being destroyed by the very medium he employs, consumer


Whether Roberts’ is admiring or admonishing societal norms, he is

certainly addressing it ironically. The very strength and power of his

sculptures is surely put in harm’s way by the actual medium of his

message. However, by re-purposing these raw abandoned geometric

receptacles, he renders connotations of renewal and possibility.


For more information, contact: or visit

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