Trenton Doyle Hancock


Produced by Scott Newman & Marc Santo
Camera by Rainer Evans
Edited by Eben Bull & Christie Brown

Growing up in a Christian household in Texas, artist Trenton Doyle Hancock was immersed in the myths and narratives that he found while reading The Bible. Couple these narratives with his love of comic books, toys and the Masters of the Universe series and one is able to see the pool of imagery and ideologies that helped shape Hancock's own mythical world.

"If you look at the grouping of the stories and belief systems that I learned from growing up", explains Trenton, "I wanted to take them and apply them to an art project based around a series of my own myths and symbols."

Through his prints, drawings, painting, collages and even ballet, Hancock has created an ongoing narrative involving a group of mythical creatures that live and die in the Tolkienesque underworld that he created. Within his universe, there are "Vegans"— small ant-like creatures that live in the underworld and militantly hate meat. There are "Mounds"—hairy mountainous creatures that are rooted in the Earth, and a handful of supporting character's like Torpedo Boy, Painter and Lloyd, who frequently appear in the various naratives and ideologies that evolve with the artist's work.

"I feel it's important to have this narrative coupled with paintings because it's something I haven't really seen before in the fine art world. I mean painters throughout history used narratives, even the abstract expressionists did, but I wanted to take it to a different place. I want to tell explicit stories and have them be major components of the work in order to create a new hybrid conversation."

Trenton was recently commissioned to do mural work in the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium and his work is part of the collection at a number of museums including The Brooklyn Museum, MoMA, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and The Whitney. He was part of the PBS Series Art 21 and is represented by James Cohan Gallery in New York.

Trenton Doyle Hancock's NYC

Trenton Doyle Hancock
  • “Forbidden Planet has every comic book you can imagine. They also have really cool toys. Comics are one of the foundations of my work.”
  • “The Studio Museum in Harlem shows a side of art that is not normally seen. They present a lot of underrepresented artists and show work that would otherwise have gone unnoticed. Director Thelma Golden is one of the greatest writers, curators and thinkers operating in the contemporary art world.”
  • “There’s a warmth I feel when I’m in this gallery. It feels more like a family and less like a business, which makes it very comfortable for showing art and talking about art. I’m proud to be represented here, it’s elegant and professional."
  • Egon Schiele, 1910
    “The Neue Gallery is less gallery and more museum. They specialize in Eastern European, German and Austrian art. It’s not contemporary, more turn of the century through the 1950s or so. They deal in the grotesque which I gravitate to.”
  • “John’s pizza uptown, by the theater district, has an amazing Fresco mural of the city from the early 20th century. I love this place because of that and the damn good pizza.”
  • Fabulous Fanny's - Source:
    “Fabulous Fanny’s on 1st Ave and 9th St has the best selection of glasses on the planet. They have new and vintage and the guys there really know their stuff. They’ve been there for as long as I can remember.”

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