Trenton Doyle Hancock and Maurice Carlos Ruffin

Trenton Doyle Hancock is a Houston-based artist known for creating his own fantastical narrative known as The Moundverse. Hancock’s drawings, paintings, sculptures, and installations have been the subject of numerous solo museum exhibitions. His work is currently featured in Contemporary Focus: Trenton Doyle Hancock at The Menil Collection (through May 19) and will be the subject of Mind of the Mound: Critical Mass at MASS MoCA (opening March 9).

Maurice Carlos Ruffin has been a recipient of an Iowa Review Award in fiction and a winner of the William Faulkner–William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition for Novel-in-Progress. A native of New Orleans, Ruffin is a graduate of the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop and a member of the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance. He is the author of We Cast a Shadow from One World Random House.

March 04, 2019

A feature from the Spring 2019 issue. 

Hancock’s art, which includes paintings, fabricated toys, a theatrical performance, and a graphic novel, defies categorization and pulses with an almost religious intensity. Much of his work has followed the denizens of his alternate reality called “The Moundverse,” where beastly, beautiful Mounds are often attacked by skeletal, sadistic Vegans. There’s a goddess figure named Undom Endgle, who represents the power of Black women as “bringers of color and light,” and TorpedoBoy, a heroic figure in razor-covered cleats. Hancock employs a constantly shifting aesthetic that suggests he can create literally anything.