AMM Artist Spotlight: Terrenceo Hammond
Hailing from the same time and place of South Central Los Angeles as his contemporary artists, Henry Taylor, Marc Bradford, and Sanford Biggers, Terrenceo took a slightly different path after college.
“Though always a painter, like them, I began performance art in the streets of Hollywood. I wanted to do something that didn’t depend on me needing to sell artwork all the time and the contradictions that it can sometimes lead to. I wanted some part of my life as an artist to be about both art for the sake of art and art as a way to challenge people’s thinking.”
Though he had sold his paintings to many all over the world and at one point was close to some of the same success and acclaim as his contemporaries, Terrenceo decided to learn more about life outside the U.S. by teaching art, lecturing on art history, and exhibiting in art fairs and galleries in Athens, Berlin, London, and Tallinn, Estonia. Always interested in performance art and the struggles of common folk, he took his own brand of Chris Burden’s “school of personal risk” on the road as well. From 2011 to 2016, Terrenceo slept on the beach with Africans fleeing war in Israel, lived on the streets with Gypsies in Prague, and hung out with male Syrian refugees forced to sell their bodies in Athens’ notorious Omonoia Square.
Publicly defending his star of David ring in Anti-Semitic Eastern Europe, to showing in art exhibitions despite lacking the money or support of contemporaries, like Ai Weiwei and others, Terrenceo has stayed true to his thought-provoking social commentary and political criticism, always risking himself to get people’s deeper attention. Terrenceo returned to the U.S in late 2016 to revisit his old haunts in L.A. and Harlem, NYC, where he continues to produce relevant artwork and further develop the bodies of work he calls “Contemporary New Realism” and “Digital Primitive” – now informed by his recent travels.