Pedro Troncoso Interview - The Hopper Prize

Pedro Troncoso

Pedro Troncoso on developing an alternate reality of self-discovery, navigating childhood memories, and exploring our unfiltered identity.

How did you get into making art?

Since I was a kid, art was an unconscious practice for me. I used to draw on the back of my notebooks in class or teachers requested me to draw posters for school activities. It was all fun! But when I turned 16 years old, I started drawing portraits after a friend asked me if I could draw faces, and I replied with a “yes!” (but it was actually my first time ever). Later on, drawing realistic portraits became my hobby while I was simultaneously studying aviation. Unexpectedly, that hobby morphed into a portfolio which allowed me to get a scholarship for art school. Aviation is gone, and so far, I’m the only one in my family with a master’s degree in Fine Arts, hoping not to be the last one.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently developing a series of paintings, drawings, and sculptures which would be my alternate reality of self-discovery. I am exploring how anxieties, vulnerabilities, and insecurities interfere with the relationship we have with our genuine identity as adults.

I am exploring how anxieties, vulnerabilities, and insecurities interfere with the relationship we have with our genuine identity as adults.

Pedro Troncoso

What inspired you to get started on this body of work?

Childhood memories and my discomfort as an adult. The world is constantly changing and somehow distorting our individuality. Stereotypes, expectations, common sense, and other norms somehow dictate our mentality and behavior, but that wasn’t the case when we were spontaneous children.
I am inspired to explore the remaining part of our unfiltered identity. Which I believe is related to raw imagination, just as a kid. Basically, I want to paint the suppressed intuitive thoughts that we carry, but cannot manifest outside of our heads due to adulting restrictions.

Do you work on distinct projects or do you take a broader approach to your practice?

I used to work on distinct projects, but I now feel the necessity to build my own universe and figure out its own physics and aesthetics. I am eager to expand my body of work into a fantastic parallel reality that not only illustrates but also helps me to deal with my challenges as a grown up. I feel that whatever happens to me, is also happening to other people, that’s why I’m excited to communicate the personal with a broader universal approach.

What’s a typical day like in your studio?

It varies, but the day begins in the afternoon and continues until 2 to 3 a.m. The nighttime brings me peace and more connection to what I’m working on. I am very easily distracted, but I try to keep the studio vibes focused on the energy and feelings I want to transmit in the artwork. I’m bad at multitasking while I paint, but sometimes I listen to music or documentaries. If possible, I like working on two pieces at once. Additionally, I love having some random piece of an artistic experiment in progress. My only studio rule is trying not to think about time as I work since that kind of pressure takes me to predictable, forced, and undesired places.

Who are your favorite artists?

They will change over time. But I have been enjoying George Condo, Peter Saul, Kerry James Marshall, Dana Schutz, Nicole Eisenman, Hieronymus Bosch, Frida Kahlo, etc.

Where do you go to discover new artists?

Catalogs, books, or Instagram. But personally, my favorite way to discover new artists is when they arise from a conversation with friends, followers, collectors, etc.

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