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The Artist behind the Xs and Os

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Eric Mancini grew up as a typical Denton kid. He spent his teenage days skateboarding around the TWU campus and the like.

Now the 28 year-old artist is making a name for himself in the Denton/Dallas art scene – one can of spray paint at a time.

While talking with Mancini as he worked on a mural in downtown Denton, he shared insights into his distinctive style and the origins of his art addiction.

Though he had strong artistic inclinations as a child, Mancini left his colored pencils behind to play baseball at UT Pan- American and study finance at UNT. After some major lifestyle changes, he began making art again as both a release and a way to pass the time. Fast-forward to the present day, and his street art can be found in Denton, Deep Ellum, and the Bishop Arts District.

Mancini has described his style as contemporary; abstract expressionism with street and popart influences. Much of his work could be picked out in a   lineup on account of his signature “XO pattern.” “I feel that I’ve found something that’s unique in how I approach it,” he says. He has coined his style as “controlled chaos,” and maintains that – because his art acts as a means of expression – his style is fluid and subject to change.

After observing him paint first-hand, it is evident that Mancini’s murals become part of the community through more than just their physical presence. Countless people stopped to speak with him about his work, making his murals feel more and more like a blend of installation and performance art. Through this process, the artist has the  opportunity to connect with the community just as much as the art does.

Mancini said: “My art isn’t going to touch everyone. If my art doesn’t make you feel something, I probably will.” More than just a mural, Mancini contributes a bit of himself and his attitude in each public work.

Some of his murals can be found at Denton Discount Vacuums and Veronica’s Café in Denton, at the Kemp House in Bishop Arts, and on Elm Street in Deep Ellum. Other works by Mancini are available for purchase at Bearded Monk in Denton for a limited time and on his website, manciniart.com.

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