Five Best Painters of Denton in 2016

The art of Denton is done in anything but broad strokes. These five nominees for best painter certainly paint our town in the most beautiful of colors, approaching the medium in their different ways and looking to express different realities and fictions alike. 

Eric Mancini

Mancini’s artwork incorporates graffiti into the spaces and shapes that are normal parts of our everyday lives. Whether it’s through a recreation of an Apple or Facebook logo or a Dallas Strong mural on the side of a Bishop Arts District home. Mancini has been experimenting recently with more abstract approaches that incorporate large swatches of color and exaggerated features. Whatever piece of his you look at, you’re sure to be caught by his use of color and uniformity in shape. 

Bailey Chapman

Dreams and the subconscious are a constant theme in Chapman’s works. A look through her gallery shows a mastery of several styles, including surrealism, impressionism, minimalism, and others. Chapman uses walnut oil in many of her paintings, lending itself to several different looks throughout a single piece. Also a member of bands Pearl Earl and ABACABA, there is no limit to how one can experience Chapman’s creativity in town. 

Dan Black

You might have seen Dan’s work in the Denton Welcome Center, or at “Composite of the Soul,” an exhibition currently on display at the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center. Others around the country can see it, too; Dan has been responsible for impressive, detailed murals that canvas walls all over, from Silver Grizzly Espresso in Longview, Texas, to Artlife Canada—a summer youth art program—in Caroline, Alberta. Commissions aside, Dan’s work covers the spectrum of themes, including beauty, gratitude, and courage, and is probably best illustrated in his mural for the latest Hue Mural Fest in Houston, Texas.

Sanford Black

At once modular and cosmic, Sanford’s works are a visual trip. His “creepy dude” creations are colorful and playfully depicted, but at the same time convey pain, fear, or misery. His acrylic creations, whether applied via brush or pallet knife, bring a strange amount of joy and sense of wandering to Sanford’s depictions of an everyday man of suffering. An employee at The Bearded Monk, Sanford’s work is prominently and regularly on display there. Recently, he has begun collaborations and has himself mixed hip hop beats to accompany color-changing animations of his works, the perfect combination of the audible and visual. 

Travis Sykes

Sykes’s art looks at both beauty and decay, pop culture and nature. With murals that adorn expanses in Denton and Deep Ellum, Sykes shows an ability to condense the beautiful in an entire city into a mural. His contemporary approach is abstract and juxtaposes large shapes and symbols into each piece that convey one clear message or social commentary.