Artist Spotlight Series: Doyle Trankina

Next up we have Doyle Trankina. This guy literally knows everything and I have the pleasure of working in a studio right next to him. His work is stunning and delivers powerful messages! Doyle take…

Next up we have Doyle Trankina. This guy literally knows everything and I have the pleasure of working in a studio right next to him. His work is stunning and delivers powerful messages! Doyle take it away my friend…..

Doyle Trankina (b. 1980, United States) is a MFA candidate at the Savannah College of Art and Design and received his BFA from the University of Southern California in 2004 . He has worked in several industries like film, art production, exhibits and paleontology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. He has participated in expeditions (prospecting for, and excavating dinosaur fossils), laboratory work and produced sculpture and illustration for displays and publications like National Geographic. He was also a clay sculptor for Charles Ray studio for nearly 10 years where his proficiency as a figurative sculptor flourished.

In his art practice, Mr. Trankina uses representation to invoke history, imply sociopolitical, physiological, and philosophical themes while making the intangible or imaginary explicit. He sees sculpture ultimately as a statement of values which lives in perpetuity as document while the accord between formal and conceptual qualities determines relevance and meaning in contemporary society. 

He currently lives and works in Duluth where he produces his own artwork, private commissions and provides his services to institutions, companies and artists around the US. He also conducts workshops and private tutoring in sculpture and drawing. He is a MFA candidate at the Savanna College of Art and Design with several awards and scholarships for academic and portfolio excellence in sculpture.

Artist Statement

My practice includes drawing, sculpture, graphics and small works like jewelry. I work representationally and conduct abstract formal explorations using traditional and digital techniques, molding and casting in a variety of materials, and use 3D printing. I examine conventions to invert and invent upon, while making use of allegory and narrative through portraiture and figuration. My work combines contemporary subject matter with classical handcraft, technology and attempts to conflate art with artifact. By drawing from museum specimens, human and animal subjects I seek to collapse time into a single gesture in space while maintaining an ambiguity of provenience.

           My 2 dimensional work shares in common the content of my sculpture, but is more illustrative and many times serves as prologue for the conceptualization of sculpture projects. I use digital tools to explore formal and conceptual content either as maquette when 3d printing or to use as reference for what I intend to make (either as drawing or sculpture), which allows a process with speed and few limitations.

           In my figurative work I utilize inherent subtexts of representation which are made legible through reference and signification.  These subtexts relate to social-politics, and the dynamics surrounded by the human experience, our environment, and history. There is a special cognitive power that representation offers in that it can provide a catalyst for generating meaning either shared or uniquely personal, which changes as time progresses. As many might intuitively understand, objects of antiquity carry a mysterious allure, but also allow for a sense of time travel and access to the author and ancient culture that is made possible through the evidence of the hand, and embedded sigifiers we interpret through the contemporary lens .

           My experience in art studios and natural history museums has had a deep influence on me, and I’ve gained an appreciation for natural and human history which has contributed to my criteria for making my work.  Although representational sculpture has had an unfortunate association with kitsch and propaganda throughout the modern era, it has found legitimacy in no small way by prominent artists since the middle post-modern period which suggests that there is much more yet to discover. But this history is also something I make use of, especially when deriving content that is political or social in nature, and also provides me guidelines of what to embrace and what to avoid.

           From the stand point of a maker, there is also a deep significance in the act of sculpting. Art making is a synthesis where world is felt through my hands and left in a succinct gesture at a specific point in time. The act of making I find to be significant, and when an object is paired with the right content, it can also project itself as documentation. It is likewise significant to the subject depicted as figurative art which can provide positive social impact by working with groups which have been omitted, inaccurately or cruelly portrayed in the canon of art history, when creating a new chapter in the continuum of .

Website and Portfolio: http://www.doyletrankina.com