“The pangolin is an actual creature that seems to be the stuff of childhood myth. It bears a resemblance to an armadillo and a lizard, but is neither. It also seems to be prehistoric—a living fossil. I swear I’ve seen this creature attached to essays on dinosaurs. Maybe it’s a baby dragon-thing. Pangolins also would fit right in with descriptions of cryptids and other mythological beasts. The artists in this show are pangolins.”

So are the words of Trenton Doyle Hancock, former Juxtapoz cover artist and Juxtapoz x Superflat exhibiting artist, who has curated a wonderful show at Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles, entitled From Pangs to Pangolins. With Hancock's Moundverse Infants currently on view at Temple University through July 27th, the artist is having a busy summer. The exhibition’s title is partly derived from a misheard song lyric—growing pain vs. growing pang—and riffs on the way in which both phrases allude to the rigors and traumas of childhood.

The gallery notes: From Pangs to Pangolins includes an intergenerational selection of artists, with works ranging from the early 1980s to present. Each artist explores the theme of adolescence and play (concepts central to Hancock’s own artistic practice), while drawing from a wealth of symbols and narratives from childhood’s various hard-fought rites of passage.

The works in the exhibition explore aspects of each artist’s own beginning—a productive, scary, magical time—and embrace this transformative period of development to engage with the anxious, out-of-place, dream-like spaces of childhood imagination, and the rhythms of their subsequent retracings.