The artist uses his medium to spark conversations about society, expectations, stereotypes and identity.
Before finding his feet as an artist, Pedro Troncoso's career began in aviation. He grew up in La Romana, Dominican Republic, where he'd practice his artistic pursuits in his free time. Perceiving it as a hobby, he shares, he eventually built a portfolio of works which meant he could apply to art school for a scholarship. "I was accepted! At that moment, maybe unconsciously, my necessity to create was putting aviation on the side until I decided to quit."
Of course, taking the plunge isn't always an easy ride, especially if you're worried about being the only one pursuing an artistic career in your family. However, Pedro's parents supported him 100%, "even if art as a profession is not taken as seriously". Following his passions at Altos de Chavón La Escuela de Diseño, Pedro graduated in 2018 and transferred to Parsons School of Design in New York to attain an undergrad in 2020. The graduation was online due to the pandemic, "but we made it!" It wasn't long – almost immediately – and Pedro applied for another scholarship for an MFA at The New York Academy of Art. "And here I am, almost graduating this year to continue flying higher than any plane out there," he continues. "For me, it was unbelievably ironic to travel abroad for the first time due to art and not aviation. These transitions represent how whatever you decide is worth more than whatever people expect from you."
Nowadays, Pedro builds immensely creative artworks. He's got a wild imagination that transfers directly onto the canvas, producing slightly chaotic yet utterly charming depictions of exaggerated people and unexpected scenes. It's a modern take on self-portraiture, where Pedro applies paint to the page to make sense of society, stereotypes, self-image and identity. "I mostly use my imagination to abandon cognition and welcome intuition," he explains. "I consider it a mental space for my inner child; it is the only genuine toy I still have as an adult."
Applying this to his work, La Boda is an apt example of how he combs spontaneity with a clear cut concept. In this work, which is currently on view at Tchotchke Gallery as part of a group show named That's Showbiz, Baby, the artist has delved into society's construction of marriage. The result is his own ceremonious point of view, one that celebrates the idea but equally critiques the western symbolism of tying the knot. "My favourite part is that the viewer can connect the dots, unpack meanings and find stories beyond marriage."
Pedro's portfolio is undeniably enjoyable. However, what makes it spectacular is the in-depth concepts hidden beneath the vibrant, geometric compositions. The artist has a clear goal: to use his art to make sense of the world. "We are caught up in what we are 'supposed to do' the two forget how much agency we have to make things happen on our own terms," he adds. "We end up pretending to fit into stereotypical collective experiences (beauty standards, gender roles, etiquettes) rather than also cultivating the personal ones. I hope, just as I did with aviation, that they set their own expectations, fly in their own ways, or build their own planes."