About The Artist
Award-winning contemporary artist Iva Troj creates fine art pieces which seamlessly merge Renaissance aesthetics and techniques with postmodern praxis. Her intensely detailed images achieve astonishing tricks of light and shade, as practiced by the great masters while incorporating dreamlike scenes which challenge cultural norms.
About Iva Troj
“A Balkan mountain child and a young arts protege who grew up to become a world renown contemporary artist with a PhD in art history. Iva Troj grew up in the outskirts of Bulgaria’s Romani slums in the last decade of communism – a world full of sexual predators, communist propaganda, censorship and no path to artistic livelihood other than what she could imagine in her wildest dreams. Today, she is a Gerety Award winner and 3 times Cannes Lions nominee for her Halo Masterpiece [biggest ever launch in the Halo franchise’s history, with more than 20M players, 520M reach], Towry Best of England Award winner, and 2 times Contemporary Art Excellence Artist of the Year award winner. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally and her work is in collections in the UK, France, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Germany, China, United States and Japan. In 2021, her epic painting Halo Infinite Masterpiece was exhibited at Saatchi Gallery and The Louvre. In 2020, her paintings were included in a number of permanent museum exhibitions in South Asia, among them Haegeumgang Museum 해금강테마박물관 in South Korea. And in Sept 2022, she was invited to exhibit a body of work at The Louvre in Paris.
Troj obtained her first fine arts degree when she was just 17 years old. After completing two BA degrees and a master’s degree from the United States and Sweden, she was awarded an art history PhD title.
She is widely known for her fine art pieces which seamlessly merge Renaissance aesthetics and techniques with postmodern praxis. Her intensely detailed oil paintings achieve astonishing tricks of light and shade, as practiced by the great masters. Exhausted by a society in which women often feel vulnerable, threatened, or powerless, Troj recasts the fairer sex as powerful creatures, freed from the oppressive male gaze and placed within Edenic settings where they can revel in their own beauty and potential. Blending abstraction with figuration, the natural world with the urban landscape, dream with reality, Troj’s breathtakingly beautiful artworks achieve something truly unique, both in terms of aesthetics and concept.” 22Blocks Agency
As a child, I was taught to question one-dimensional narratives, which grew from a survival technique to a development technology of the artistic self. The foe I so often portray almost always represents the normalisation of one or more dysfunctional discourses. Like many artists, I discuss personal experiences. At the same time, I strive to escape the self, an urge that partially stems from crossing borders in the last years of the Cold War. Living through cultural starvation in my childhood’s Eastern Europe has made me restless and hungry for honest creativity. In that sense, nothing I discuss is strictly personal. Sexual abuse, violence, trauma… I may present an unusual perspective on these topics stemming from the self, but only as an outset. The work needs to keep changing, relive itself, challenge its own conformity.
There is a point in every artist’s career when one is tempted to choose a tested and proven path. I’m constantly trying to resist this temptation by containing the “paths” in series where I can explore a motif or a theme without succumbing to the comforts of one visual style. The artists that I look up to for inspiration have one thing in common – constant renewal.
Traditional elements are very central to my body of work. It’s not so much a need to keep it” traditional”, but rather the way I speak. I grew up in a communist country. We sang songs about machines being superior to man and praised modernity while destroying nature and killing creativity and the human spirit with it. At the same time, my summers were spent in the mountains with my grandmother who had hanging gardens, thousand stories and no TV. These two realities are inseparable in my mind.
My style and inspiration come from the techniques of The Old Masters, not just Western but also Eastern European, Russian in particular. As a child I would often look at art books from the Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo and even Modernism and wonder why the women in them were so powerless and passive, always laying there nude like they lost the will to live, combing their hair and undressing, etc. I grew up wishing to become good at painting so I could change the stories in classical motifs. My technique resembles the Flemish method of layering thin veneers of paint between layers of varnish. Beautiful imperfection and constant renewal are themes that flow throughout my paintings.
3 x nominee for Cannes Lions Award for Halo Infinite Masterpiece 2022
Art Excellence Award 2020 해금강테마박물관] Haegeumgang Museum South Korea.
CAF Artist Of The Year 2019 (2d)
Contemporary Art Excellence Artist of The Year 2016
2016 Palm Award Winner
2013 Towry Best of England Award Winner
THE VOICE ARTS ASSOCIATION, New York, USA
Dec 2022 – Jan 2023
ZEBRA ONE GALLERY in London, UK
ZEBRA ONE GALLERY in London, UK
Feb 2023 [Women Empowering Women Project]
Current & Recent Exhibitions
THE LOUVRE, Paris, France, 1-4 September 2022
DYNAMITE ARTFAIR, Brixton, London, UK – Sept 2022
THE TRINITY BUOY WHARF Drawing Prize 2021 Exhibition & Tour
DYNAMITE ARTFAIR BRIXTON in London UK, March 2022
HALO MASTERPIECE SAATCHI GALLERY LONDON
HALO MASTERPIECE LOUVRE
SHIBUYA ART EXPO at CONTEMPORARY ART STATION TOKYO, Japan May 2021
‘FALL’ EXHIBIT GAME STUDIO
London, UK 2020
‘VANGUARD’ EXHIBIT at OUTRÈ GALLERY Melbourne, Australia 2020
DARK ART EMPORIUM, LA, CA, USA, Sept 2019
MODERN EDEN GALLERY
San Francisco, CA, USA
Representational Modern: Beautiful Bizarre Magazine Art Prize Exhibition, Jan 2019
DARK ART EMPORIUM
Dakuato + 12 Inches of Wood / Long Beach, California, USA, Feb 2019
FLUX Exhibition at The National Army Museum, March 2019
TOKYO International Art Fair
TIAF 18 | TOKYO, Japan, May 2018
THE ARTBOX New York 1.0
Armory Artweeks in New York, USA. March 2018
FLUX Exhibition at The Chelsea College of Art, London, April 2018
Modern Masters Exhibit at Art Republic Brighton, UK, July 2018
COREY HELFORD GALLERY, LA, USA.
THE NEW ROMANTICS July 2018
COREY HELFORD GALLERY, LA, USA. May-June 2017.
IVA TROJ 4 FRIENDSHIP –
Friendship Vegan Apparel / Permanent Exhibit in Shoreditch, London, UK
THE CHIMERA GALLERY, Mullingar, Ireland, 2018-2019
COREY HELFORD GALLERY, CA, LA, USA
Beneath The Waves Group Exhibit, Jan-Feb 2017
RANDOM ART GALLERY
Contemporary Beast Exhibit, Brighton, UK, 2016
FED THE LIONS – DYNAMITE GALLERY
Solo Show at DYNAMITE GALLERY, Brighton, UK, April 2016.
MAYFAIR with Roberta Moore Contemporary in London, UK, May 2015
Exhibition with John Paul Bichard at ROYAL CASTLE, Stockholm, Sweden, Sept-Dec 2015