Artist of the Week: Karen Tronel

By Melanie Damani, Hottinger Art

“Oops!”, 2018, bronze bullet, silicone foot, gun and perspex on walking frame, Karen Tronel. Courtesy of the artist, 2019.

Karen Tronel explores the absurd and the humorous within everyday objects, beings, social conventions, common verbal expressions, behaviors and perception/construction of gender, by looking at these through an alternative or distanced angle with a view to widening  perspective.

♀️♂️, 2019, photomontage, Karen Tronel in collaboration with Julien Szantaruk. Courtesy of the artists, 2019.

The works involve very diverse processes spanning painting, sculpture, large-scale installation and digital drawing, combining a variety of materials, mediums and techniques (eg. bronze casting, wood carving, photography, ceramics, sound, various forms of projection and film) with a strong emphasis on experimentation. she also introduce interactive elements into the work, offering opportunities for the viewer to engage.

The sculptural work comprises strange/funny/grotesque creatures or objects which simultaneously attract, intrigue and disturb by appearing familiar and yet illogical – they are endearing misfits embracing equal measures of powerful defiance and ridicule which question and challenge perception and notions of representation, while hinting at different realities or an escape to an imagined space and time.

There is only so much…, 2018, ceramic, slime and toilet pan, Karen Tronel. Courtesy of the artist, 2019.

Tronel’s practice is underpinned by a deep potentiality for radical forms that shape our social and imaginary world, and yet – they remain irrational, non–sensical, awkward and often absurd. Sometimes they will offer a surprise of participatory encounters. In most instances however, humour is deployed with an estranged familiarity to everyday indifference, whereby the experience is aligned to a soft grotesque form of discovery. Working through a self–authored script where such conversations inform and locate object-orientated relationships, Tronel creates a unique environment of objects and images that are largely constructed as unfamiliar to us, and in turn, they offer a conflicting worldview to our own sense of cultural appropriateness. At the same time, these works deliberately hold firm to such undeclared values and are finding space to constructively express disagreement, expand on verbs, behavioral cues and slanted perceptions.

Red Eye, 2019, oil on canvas and found objects, Karen Tronel. Courtesy of the artist, 2019.

Karen Tronel holds a Graduate Diploma (2016-17) and a Masters (2017-18) in Fine Art from UAL, Chelsea College of Arts in London. She has been widely and regulary exhibited since 2016. Her next show will take place from the 6th February to 8th March 2020 at the Taipei Artist Village in Taiwan and entitled ‘The Illusion of Truth’.

Karen Tronel also regularly works as a curator. In her next show entitled Discoveries Show ‘The Biting Point’ at Fiumano Clase in London, she is curating show to launch three new artists at the gallery, including her own works. The gallery Private View is on 5th of February 2020 and the show will run until 15th March 2020. Karen will also curate a show later from 17th February to 1st March 2020 at her own pop-up gallery at 18 Lillie Road, Fulham, London SW6 1 TS.

For more information, follow the artist on on Instagram @karentronel or contact her at kwtronel@gmail.com.

Dragon Soup, 2015, epoxy resin on canvas, Karen Tronel. Courtesy of the artist, 2019.

 

Untitled, beef heart, knife, resin, 2017, Karen Tronel. Courtesy of the artist, 2019.