/ SEPTEMBER 17th PRESS RELEASE /

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BichardTroj present their first exhibition, with the showing of two remarkable bodies of work they have collaborated on since 2013: ‘The Garden’ and ‘The Illuminations’.. The duo combine portrait photography, digital collage and painting in works that question gender, the role of the art historical nude and the way that narrative is interpreted in contemporary culture.

The artists have combined their relentless analysis of contemporary culture with a more contemplative exploration of gender, role and aesthetics in a series of ambitious works that question both the viewer as well as their individual praxis. This collaborative process is an exchange of visual and narrative fragments that allow for a creative exchange of ideas without the baggage of ego.

2013 Towry Best of East England Award Winner, Iva Troj seamlessly incorporates her vast experience of traditional painting techniques with postmodern elements to create engaging Renaissance-style works that challenge the notion of societal conformity. Born in Bulgaria, based in Scandinavia and the UK, Troj creates work originating fundamentally in the crossing of two realities: the one she grew up in and the one she has embraced. Represented by Roberta Moore Contemporary she recently showed at Mayfair, Imitate Modern and Lloyds Club Gallery London UK.

Photographer and artist John-Paul Bichard has spent much of the past 3 decades at the margins of the art world: exploring the culture of video games, performance, sexual identity and burlesque/drag culture. His works question the assumed power of the gaze in the relationship of viewer to subject, as well as exploring ways in which fragmented narratives are interpreted in contemporary culture. Bichard has exhibited internationally with works in the collections of Tate London, V&A and MOMA New York.

The Garden is a large triptych inspired by The Garden of Earthly Delights by Heironymous Bosch. The Illuminations is an ongoing series of 42 works inspired by Rimbaud’s famous “Les Illuminations”.

The works will be exhibited in a one day preview at Slottet, Stockholm to launch the BichardTroj collaboration.
The preview will start at 6.30 with live Jazz from Fräulein Frauke and Janne Sjöblom at 19.00
Bubbles will be served.
Press are asked to come at 18.00 to talk with the artists.
Fine dress is appreciated.

All works copyright 2015 John Paul Bichard and Iva Troj

 

/ THE WORKS /

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“Collaboration in art is the ultimate test of placing your ego aside in order to work toward a common idea. The image of the ego driven artist may be somewhat stereotypical — but I’d say that there is some truth in suggesting that most artists find it difficult to invite other artists into their process directly. After all, the creation of art is a private affair for the majority of artists I’ve known over the years. Not all are open to the idea of sharing an artistic vision in that manner. Point blank — creating collaboration art is not for everyone. For those who can work jointly — creating collaborative art can be a powerful experience.”
Brian Sherwin

Bichard and Troj are exploring, defining and re-constructing their work as an ongoing collaborative process through photographed partial narratives, fragments of new and former work, psychological allegories and a natural process of exchange before being finalised as paintings. Throughout this process, the works are used as a means of questioning and revealing: the artist’s role in image making, the embedded tropes of gender in art, the nature of gender identity in culture and a reverie in storytelling. The outcomes are an intuitive drifting together of ideas, aesthetics and personal politics.

 

All works copyright 2015 John Paul Bichard and Iva Troj

/ ABOUT THE ARTISTS /

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2013 Towry Best of East England Award Winner, Iva Troj seamlessly incorporates her vast experience of traditional painting techniques with postmodern elements to create engaging Renaissance-style works that challenge the notion of societal conformity. Born in Bulgaria, based in Scandinavia and the UK, Troj creates work originating fundamentally in the crossing of two realities: the one she grew up in and the one she has embraced.

Photographer and artist John-Paul Bichard has spent much of the past 3 decades at the margins of the art world: exploring the culture of video games, performance, sexual identity and burlesque/drag culture. His works question the assumed power of the gaze in the relationship of viewer to subject, as well as exploring ways in which fragmented narratives are interpreted in contemporary culture. Bichard has exhibited internationally with works in the collections of Tate London, V&A and MOMA New York.

The duo have combined their relentless analysis of contemporary culture with a more contemplative exploration of gender, role and aesthetics in a series of ambitious works that question both the viewer as well as their individual praxis.

Credits
Thanks to all the performers and models who were photographed for the Garden and Illuminations works:
Fräulein Frauke, Alexi Carpentieri, Lada Redstar, Reuben Kaye, Sir WIlly Waterlilly, Nalle Laanela, Andreas Hammerström, Anna, Vera Maria, Kiki Cherie, C.O.B., Ivoncita, Miss Rita Regrets, Miss Meadows, Ella Nässén, Susanna Bates, Frida Karlsson, Jasmine Haikura, Ester Holmén, Lisa Mobrand, Sandra C Sandrömma, Lady Rivet, Harley Quinn.

All works copyright 2015 John Paul Bichard and Iva Troj

/ ON COLLABORATIONS /

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Collaboration can be a useful process: it allows for the ego to be subdued, for the ears and eyes to be opened and for dialogue to be refined. It is a sharing, a breaking down of barriers and restraints. Collaboration is both a liberator and a sharpener.

BichardTroj began in 2013 with a collage of one of Bichard’s works by Iva and a simple invitation from her to start working together. The works have since developed through photographed partial narratives, fragments of new and former work and a natural process of construction and re-construction before the works are finalized as paintings. Throughout the process, the works are used as a means of questioning and revealing: the artist’s role in image making, the embedded tropes of gender in art, the nature of gender identity in culture and a reverie in storytelling. The outcomes are an intuitive drifting together of ideas, aesthetics and politics.

“Our parallel life stories have a lot in common, saturated with strange encounters, unbelievable coincidences and the strong childhood desire to belong. Failure to learn and obey the acceptance codes of society is also something we share. I strongly believe that the future of arts is in collaborations. I also think that this process has already started as the elitist notion of high culture saturating the world of fine art is beginning to dissolve. Youth culture anywhere in the western world is a proof of that. By saying that I do not in any way claim that working with other artists is easy. On the contrary, finding the right (for me) people to work with was very hard. I spent decades looking for somebody who could see through my eyes the way people did where I grew up – the mountains on the Bulgarian/Greek border. As I moved farther and farther away from the mountains, I met fewer and fewer people who spoke the same emotional and visual language. Growing up with all knowing, powerful storytellers and healers, learning from them then watching them disappear, made me distant and unwilling to communicate. The collaborations have changed that.”
Iva Troj

All works copyright 2015 John Paul Bichard and Iva Troj