For creators of color, the perceived need to be exemplary can be artistically stultifying. Instead, true freedom may lie in being allowed to be fine — or to fail
Adam Bradley | September 30, 2021
To accompany this essay, T commissioned a pair of original works by the Portland, Oregon-based artist Dana Paresa and Houston-based artist Trenton Doyle Hancock.
The Houston-based artist Trenton Doyle Hancock’s “Torpedoboy and His ‘Just So’ Moment” (2021).
“As a Black creative, I’ve always been told that I must do more than my best just to be visible or have my ideas considered,” he says. “By centering on the life of a Black superhero, Torpedoboy, who fails miserably at his job of serving and protecting, I pose the question, ‘What if Black excellence itself had an identity crisis?’ Torpedoboy imagines what it might be like to be just good enough or just so. … The rest of the world isn’t ready to handle such a situation, and Torpedoboy’s mediocrity gives way to an empty space. Perhaps this space is a good place to start over.”