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.