The Iconography of Now: Hebru Brantley

To be an artist in today’s volatile art industry is to embody daring. It is to put one’s personal truth and vision out in the world, to face the whims of changing trends, fickle buyers and misguided interpretations by critics. Yet, to be a successful artist also amplifies the audacity – to go from obscure creativity to the biggest galleries and museums takes a unique level of conviction. Cadillac highlights three artists of color who have ventured to the farthest extent of their creativity and now fully embody the ethos: Dare Greatly.

If you have to qualify me and my work, call me an Afro-Futurist. I can live with that.

Meet Hebru Brantley, one of three profiled successful artists in Cadillac’s Art of Daring campaign who reveal the motivations and meaning behind their unique creative realms.

Hebru Brantley is here to break down walls by destroying the divisions between culture. Born and raised in Chicago during the 1980’s, Brantley’s work addresses tough subjects in a manner that is easily digestible by the viewer. His unique childlike characters first saw life spray painted on walls in his hometown. Now his large scale pieces can be found across the planet, collected by a slew of rappers, actors and athletes. Still, there is something that connects even the layperson to his work. “What I do comes from a very genuine, authentic place. It’s a voice that I feel doesn’t necessarily exist in a lot of spaces.“

“What I do comes from a very genuine, authentic place. ”
Hebru Brantley

A shared sense of humanity permeates Hebru’s pieces. As he expands his palette from murals to sculpture to film, each and every element plays within the Hebru Brantley vernacular. Neither “high” or “low” art, Brantley’s pieces move fluidly across and through definitions. This may be his greatest strength to fulfill his mission. “For a young kid in the inner city, walking into a museum becomes daunting — it’s a frightening thing, it’s clean, it’s posh. It has an air about it that is very unfamiliar to those that don’t grow up around it. So if I can be an influence for the next generation to begin looking at artwork in a different way and make it more approachable, to me that’s everything

The Art of Daring and The Cadillac CT6

The act of creating art that lives and breathes, art that proclaims itself—this is what stirs Hebru Brantley’s restless vision. It is this same spirit that created the 2017 Cadillac CT6. Meticulous in every detail, unrivaled as a whole, the CT6 exists as a bold statement to the world.


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