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Trenton Doyle Hancock’s intricate candy-colored prints, drawings, collaged felt paintings, and site-specific installations work together to tell the story of the Mounds—a group of bizarre mythical creatures that are the tragic protagonists of the artist’s unfolding narrative between good and evil.
Influenced equally by the history of painting as by the pulp imagery of pop-culture, Hancock transforms traditionally formal decisions—such as the use of color, language, and pattern—into opportunities to create new characters, develop subplots, and convey symbolic meaning. Hancock’s works are suffused with personal mythology presented at an operatic scale, often reinterpreting Biblical stories that the artist learned as a child from his family and local church community. His exuberant and subversive narratives employ a variety of cultural tropes, ranging in tone from comic-strip superhero battles to medieval morality plays, and influenced in style by Hieronymus Bosch, Max Ernst, Henry Darger, Philip Guston, and R. Crumb.
Hancock was born in 1974 in Oklahoma City and raised in Paris, Texas. He earned his BFA from Texas A&M University, Commerce, and his MFA from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University, Philadelphia. Hancock was featured in the 2000 and 2002 Whitney Biennial exhibitions, becoming one of the youngest artists in history to participate in the prestigious survey. His work has been the subject of numerous one-person exhibitions and is in the permanent collections of prestigious museums including the Dallas Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; SFMOMA; and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. His mythology has also been translated to the stage in an original ballet, Cult of Color: Call to Color, commissioned by Ballet Austin and created by Hancock, choreographer Stephen Mills, and composer Graham Reynolds. Hancock lives and works in Houston. He is Winifred Johnson Clive Foundation Distinguished Visiting Fellow for Interdisciplinary Painting Practices at SFAI.