The Watch, a sculpture installation by Hebru Brantley—presents goggle-wearing child superheroes. As the Chicago Ideas Week 2013 Artist in Residence, Brantley was inspired by conversations with students from Chicago Public High Schools when he created the 16-figure sculpture that represents the troubles and triumphs local students face in the city's neighborhoods.
“When given the opportunity to work with the Chicago Ideas Week, I knew I wanted to focus on a project that celebrates an unrepresented youth culture and speak to a diverse audience,” explains Brantley.
“It is my goal that this piece, and all of my artwork, provoke discourse, generating conversations in a public context that will counter media stereotypes and spur transformation and growth within individuals and in the larger communities in Chicago and beyond.”
The Watch pays homage to the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American military aviators in the United States armed forces who fought in World War II. Fly Boy and Fly Girl (also known as Lil’ Mama) are Brantley’s original protagonists who often appear in his comic and street art-inspired work.
The installation is currently on view in Pioneer Court Plaza at 401 N. Michigan Avenue, outside of Chicago Ideas Week headquarters.
For additional information, visit www.chicagoideas.com. For news about the Artist in Residence program, visit https://www.chicagoideas.com/artist. For information on the artist, visit www.hebrubrantley.com.