All Things Known and Nothing to Own, 2012
Acrylic and mixed media on canvas
25.4 x 20.3 cm
10 x 8 in
10 x 8 in
Trenton Doyle Hancock (b. 1974, Oklahoma City, USA) has, since childhood, been interested in issues of morality and ethics, especially those defined by puritanical Christian beliefs. He grew up in an all American household governed by these ideals and over a lifetime has developed his own parallel (sometimes contradictory) value system incorporating his love of toys and the narratives played out by comic book characters. What began simply in his youth necessitated by a desire to manage a seemingly endless amount of resources, questions and life information, has continued as a grand narrative into adult life, pulling in a deepening understanding of life's thematic complexities, current events and existential conundrums which have come to form the complex narrative basis for Hancock’s paintings, drawings, murals, theatrical performances and film. This, combined with constant inspiration drawn from classical comic book imagery, pop art and American cinema (especially the horror genre), as well as the aesthetic of classic prints (Durer, Goya, Daumier, Kathe Kollwitz, etc.), creates Hancock’s unique approach to collaged painting. The portrait 'All Things Known and Nothing to Own' (2012) continues Hancock’s ongoing grand saga portraying the birth, death, afterlife and dream-like states of a range of characters. This saga is centred on the opposing races of the Mounds (half-animal, half-plant like creatures) and their aggressors, the Vegans. These creatures exist in a fictional universe governed by two god-like spirit energies: Loid (a stark, stern, paternal energy characterised by black-and-white bands of words and worshipped by the Vegans) and Painter (a colourful, lenient, maternal balancing energy). 'All Things Known and Nothing to Own' (2014) is also part of a body of work that Hancock refers to as ‘radical autobiography.’ The piece expands on the metaphysical understandings of the artist’s dreams, the idea of self-portraiture as examination of the artist as a prototype, and the designed symbolic discourse that has been a longstanding trademark of Hancock’s work. As he said in an interview with Thelma Golden of The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, “there’s a constant shifting of perspectives, and there’s the tendency to get into the mind of the other” (Trenton Doyle Hancock: The Wayward Thinker, The Fruitmarket Gallery, 2007).
Trenton Doyle Hancock: In the Box, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery (2013)
Trenton Doyle Hancock: ...And Then It All Came Back To Me, James Cohan Gallery (2012)