Trenton Doyle Hancock

From a Legend to a Choir (2009)

Vinyl print
Approximately 41 feet by 108 feet

Located on SE Ramp Wall (silver – star levels)

Trenton Doyle Hancock’s dense work stops visitors in their tracks. Its screaming colors and riotous energy are an eyeful and not for the faint-hearted. But what happens when a viewer spends a few moments with Hancock’s crazy quilt of an image is hardly indelicate. From a Legend to a Choir (2009) builds upon the most democratic aspects of American Pop Art, from Stuart Davis to Andy Warhol to Jean-Michel Basquiat, empowering viewers by letting us bring our own stories to a wildly open-ended narrative.

Hancock’s sprawling mural sets the stage. Its flower-filled setting evokes the biblical Garden of Eden and the psychedelic Summer of Love. Its figures’ striped outfits recall jailhouse garb. 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. It has its roots in his personal history. Now based in Houston, Hancock was born in Oklahoma City and raised in Paris, Texas. He is the stepson of a preacher. His roots nourish an inventive imagination out of which springs a world so rich with possibility that viewers cannot help but be drawn into it.

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