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Hebru Brantley Art Installation Vandalized

By Lisa White in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 25, 2014 10:20PM

(The Watch Photo: Jason DeVoll)

This is why we can't have nice things, folks. Sad news in public art this past week, after the discovery that part of Hebru Brantley's statue installation in Grant Park entitled The Watch had been vandalized. The vibrant statues, showcasing Brantley's signature Fly Boy and Fly Girls, were a popular stop for tourist and locals, and have popped up in our own Flickr Pool the last few months, their eerie yet playful feel captivating whoever happens upon them. Chicago has a vibrant public art scene and it truly is sad to see someone tamper with art placed throughout the city that is free for anyone to enjoy.

The damage was discovered last Sunday morning, Chicago Park District spokeswoman Michele Lemons told the Sun-Times, adding that:

“We believe that the damage or the act occurred some time late [Saturday] night, and the Chicago Park District is investigating the incident and is looking to repair the damaged art work.”

Brantley is a Bronzeville native and has been steadily active in the local art community even as his career outside of Chicago has taken off. His work has been exhibited on both national and international levels and owners of his work include Jay-Z, who bought a large piece a few years ago at Art Basel, and Niki Minaj who posed with her own pink Fly Girl last year. Another version of The Watch was showcased during Chicago Ideas Week last fall and Brantley currently has an exhibit at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Brantley took to his Twitter account to voice his rightful frustration and anger after the incident:

Regardless where Brantley ends up, we look forward to more of his work in Chicago. His show at the Cultural Center, Parade Day Rain, is currently on display until September 23 and is well worth a visit. Brantley's influences of childhood, cartoons and comics and city life are a treat to see in person. Check out a video below that take a deeper look at the show.

Hebru Brantley - The Making of Parade Day Rain from Cam Be on Vimeo.