The Watch – by Hebru Brantley
Location: Pioneer Court Plaza, 401 N. Michigan Avenue
As part of Chicago Ideas Week (CIW)
16-Figure Sculpture Installation, ” The Watch” represents
the troubles and triumphs local students face in the Chicago neighborhoods they call home.
From the press release..
Hebru Brantley, Chicago Ideas Week (CIW) 2013 Artist in Residence, has created “The Watch,” a sculpture installation representing the troubles and triumphs local students face in the Chicago neighborhoods they call home. The 16-figure sculpture, inspired by conversations with students from Chicago Public High Schools who are part of the CIW YOU(th) program, re-envisions Brantley’s original characters to enliven the public space while stimulating community revitalization and national dialogue about the obstacles facing today’s youth. “The Watch” is currently on view in Pioneer Court Plaza at 401 N. Michigan Avenue, outside of Chicago Ideas Week HQ.
Comprised of 16 child superheroes, the goggle-wearing sculptures in “The Watch” pay 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, frequently appearing in his comic and street art-inspired paintings and sculptures. Transformed by the goggles into bold and brave protectors on watch for danger, Fly Boy and Fly Girl have risen above their hardships and serve as aspirational figures for all of us, as they seek to spawn positive changes in the urban environment.