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Moniker New York: HERA and Hebru Brantley

This May 3 - 6, Moniker Art Fair makes its New York debut, welcoming international and local collectors to a four-day celebration of New Contemporary Art at Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse, Brooklyn.

With a proven track record of delivering a rich and varied program in London, UK since 2010, Moniker International Art Fair has established itself as the world’s leading contemporary art fair with its roots embedded in urban culture.

The Fair rallies against the familiar grind of the art fair season with a curated, experiential and immersive focus, creating unique settings for the display of artists and their work. This May, Moniker will see the imposing, cavernous space of Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse transformed into a curated 27 stand exhibition, echoing the subversive edge and outsider-ethos at the core of the urban art scene, and just like a fun fair, visitor engagement and interaction is encouraged.

Moniker aims to spotlight emerging and established talent from a burgeoning and increasingly diverse contemporary art movement forged by its subversive and innovative spirit, attracting some of the most talked about artists, galleries and collectors from the finer side of the urban art movement.

Vertical Gallery will feature two solo exhibitions. In booth 11 we will feature HERA, and booth 12 with Hebru Brantley.

HERA: Coming from a half-Pakistani, half-German background, therefore having been brought up half-Muslim and half-Catholic, Jasmin Siddiqui, aka HERA, knew quite a lot about ethical differences and complications even before elementary school. But she did not know how to deal with all the different perspectives until much later in her life when she discovered graffiti. Education-wise, the very shy girl who was born 1981 in Frankfurt, Germany, got a scholarship to spend her junior year at Venice High School in Los Angeles, a city she still visits once a year. She later went to study Graphic Design in Wiesbaden, Germany – back in 2000 a highly frequented meting point for international graffiti artists. By the time of her graduating with a diploma in 2007, Jasmin had already made a name for herself in the urban subculture she really loved, calling herself HERA after the highest Goddess in Greek mythology.

This was the necessary alter-ego, the matching super-hero-persona for a talented but thoroughly timid girl. In 2004 HERA met AKUT at a graffiti festival in Spain, and formed the crew Herakut, which still exists today and paints murals across the world. Her work has been featured in numerous books and magazines, blogs and television shows. It has been used as inspiration for countless tattoos and artwork by art students who have read her books “Herakut – The Perfect Merge” and “After The Laughter”. It amazes her, even today, that crazy twists of fate have allowed her, the torn little self-destructive kid, to share her thoughts with strangers. She believes that graffiti saved her life. And she teaches it to any child who needs a cure from feeling invisible.

Hebru Brantley: Hebru Brantley creates narrative driven work revolving around his conceptualized iconic characters. Brantley utilizes these iconic characters to address complex ideas around nostalgia, the mental psyche, power and hope. The color palettes, pop-art motifs and characters themselves create accessibility around Brantley’s layered and multifaceted ideas. Majorly influenced by the South Side of Chicago’s Afro Cobra movement in the 1960s and 70s, Brantley uses the lineage of mural and graffiti work as a frame to explore his inquiries. Brantley applies a plethora of mediums from oil, acrylic, watercolor and spray paint to non-traditional mediums such as coffee and tea. Brantley’s work challenges the traditional view of the hero or protagonist. His work insists on a contemporary and distinct narrative that shapes and impacts the viewer’s gaze. 

Recognized nationally for public works and solo shows in Chicago, Hebru Brantley has exhibited in London, San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami, Seattle, Los Angeles and New York including Art Basel Switzerland, Art Basel Miami, Scope NYC and Frieze London. Brantley has been recognized in publications including the Chicago Tribune, Complex Magazine and NY Post. His work has been collected by Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, The Pritzker Family and power couple Jay-Z and Beyonce. Brantley has collaborated with brands like Nike, Hublot and Adidas. Brantley earned a B.A. in Film from Clark Atlanta University, and has a background in design and Media Illustration.

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