Privatna mitologija nikada neće ukinuti nasilje psihičkog života.
Nobody cares about an artist's personal troubles unless the artist makes them care. With Trenton Doyle Hancock's work, I begin to care in late 1999, and care a lot by 2001.
Hancock's 1997 works are adept at using a vocabulary of expressionist paint slathers, pop-art collage appropriation, and pseudo-folky lettering and imagery. A substantial slice of the show, '97 works like Baffoon, Then I Saw Her Face, Now I'm a Bebeaver, Big Tooth, Longer Reach, I Hugged an Aquatic Icey Creature, Skum, Pure N, and Coonbear have the settled, slightly assembly-line professionalism of a young artist slapped with sudden success. Competent, beautiful, slightly impersonal, these are the works a lesser artist would have settled for, cranking them out until doomsday.
Hancock's newer works get better and better. More personal, more complex, and less expectable, they depart from safe formulas to include an omnivorous assortment of techniques: collaged packaging and plastic bottle tops in Feronious and the Monk, cut and pasted canvas, impasto paint dollops, intricate cartoon-style drawing, plastic baggies, carpet fuzz ad infinitum. They're also more heavily worked over: black and white pieces like Remembor With Membry and Friends Indeed are insanely labor intensive, vividly evoking a sweaty-palmed psychic intensity bordering on frenzy.
For Hancock, messy collage is a metaphor for an untidy psyche, literally torn and pasted together again, oozing like a poorly healed wound. Painter and Loid Struggle for Soul Control explicates the psychological conflict most clearly. It is a battle on canvas, violent, complex and confusing, threatening to destroy the fabric of the painting itself, with the sides neatly color coded.
Even Torpedoboy Tries His Darndest to Stop an Oozing Moundment looks better than it did in the 2001 Core Exhibition. It seems smaller and denser, more frenetic and intense without the wall painting behind it. - Bill Davenport
Trenton Doyle Hancock was born in 1974 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Raised in Paris, Texas, Hancock earned his BFA from Texas A&M University, Commerce, and his MFA from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University, Philadelphia. Hancock’s prints, drawings, and collaged-felt paintings work together to tell the story of the Mounds—a group of mythical creatures that are the tragic protagonists of the artist’s unfolding narrative. Each new work by Hancock is a contribution to the saga of the Mounds, portraying the birth, life, death, afterlife, and even dream states of these half-animal, half-plant creatures. Influenced by the history of painting, especially Abstract Expressionism, Hancock transforms traditionally formal decisions—such as the use of color, language, and pattern—into opportunities to create new characters, develop sub-plots, and convey symbolic meaning. Hancock’s paintings often rework Biblical stories that the artist learned as a child from his family and local church community. Balancing moral dilemmas with wit and a musical sense of language and color, Hancock’s works create a painterly space of psychological dimensions. Trenton Doyle Hancock was featured in the 2000 and 2002 Whitney Biennial exhibitions, one of the youngest artists in history to participate in this prestigious survey. His work has been the subject of one-person exhibitions at Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; and Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami. The recipient of numerous awards, Hancock lives and works in Houston, where he was a 2002 Core Artist in Residence at the Glassell School of Art of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. - www.pbs.org/art21/artists/trenton-doyle-hancock
"Hancock's cast of characters is a rogue's gallery: some are headless lumps and others look more like animals than human beings, with a walrus, four-eyed rooster, and other mutants. These creatures are part of an ongoing saga that Hancock has been telling for the past decade. He calls them "Mounds"-plant-animal hybrids that behave like all of us, sometimes admirably and sometimes badly. Hancock's homegrown mythology includes a creation story, an epic battle between good and evil, an attempt at reconciliation between color-loving carnivores and scrawny, subterranean vegans, and much more." - Quote source regarding another artwork by Trenton.
James Cohan Gallery
Talley Dunn Gallery, Dallas
Trenton Doyle Hancock on the Art21 Blog