“I believe in the democracy of art,” Trenton Doyle Hancock said during his Artist Talk in January. Hancock’s influences are never hidden in his work: the Bible that was central to his upbringing in his Paris, Texas home, comic books, cartoons, video games, Philip Guston, a boyhood imagination that matures with the man, the film Pulp Fiction for its “fractured sense of truth.”
“Every day people make artful gestures,” Hancock also said. A big part of art is allowing the influences in, to not deny them or to question their value. These, again, are democratic values, reminiscent of Walt Whitman’s awesome catalogs of experience: everything belongs.
For the LEAP Middle School Initiative summer exhibition, the students have allowed Hancock’s world-building activity into their own art actions. They’re constructing costumes, explorations and representations of self to hang in the exterior Education Gallery. Fractured truths, artful gestures, individual selves singing in the multitude.