BBG Presents: Tronje

24 July 2014

As you are all probably very aware we have a thing for talented boys, whether it be singers, illustrators, dancers or musicians - we love guys with that added little extra something. For our latest BBG Presents feature we give you the beautiful Tronje Thole Van Ellen at PMA Models with a cherry on top.

Tronje is a conceptual artist and model from Hamburg, Germany. The deep and artistic Tronje, creates work that provokes conversation and encourages a response from its audience. His work is timeless, extremely personal and full of opinion on social and political themes. Specialising in illustration, graffiti and comic book sketches Tronje’s good sense of humor and sarcasm is present in all of his work helping to show that people shouldn’t take life too seriously and live by the rule book.

Behind his strong exterior, Tronje is definitely a softy inside with big dreams for the future. Through the wonderful world of web we got a chance to ask Tronje some questions about his work, life and interests allowing us to dig a little deeper into the cool arty guy from Hamburg.

Have a look at Tronje the model in action at our online editorial we featured with him in earlier this year, and don't forget to check out at some of his amazing artwork.

Hey Tronje, tell us a little about yourself.
Moin. I am Tronje Thole van Ellen from Hamburg, Germany. I am 23 and try to survive in a money orientated world where people buy expensive shoes in three colors, but won’t pay shit for a big painting for their room.

Where did it all begin, regarding both your modeling and artist career?
I never did anything else than drawing, hate to say that, but it was the only thing I wanted to do. Modeling is like my secondary job. It is a way for me to meet new people and see big cities. Another model asked me back in the day if I was interested in modeling, I wasn’t at the time, but she was cute, so I gave it a chance to stay in contact with her and now she’s my girlfriend so all worked out pretty well.

You are extremely talented in what you do. But where does your heart lie, in modeling or illustration?
It is nice to do this modeling stuff, but my true passion is in art. I also won’t call myself an illustrator. I don’t just do illustration, it is the main theme of my work, but my real passion is to find a way to show anything that comes to my mind. Most of all I love doing graffiti and big painting on walls where no standards exists. Often I start drawing on a wall without having a concept and just see what comes out.

Have you got any exciting up and coming collaborations?
There is an ABSOLUT VODKA event in September where I’m going to do some life painting stuff, which will be really cool. I’m excited to show my skills there and to meet some new people.

What is your main inspiration for your artwork?
It is mostly about this rotten world we live in. It’s really personal because it’s how I respond and deal with society through my own humor and sarcasm that is then interpreted into art. Sometimes I think about doing something beautiful and nice, but this feeling is not strong enough to replace the emotion I want to express when drawing about politics or social themes.

Do personal experiences influence your work?
Of course, there are naked drawings of some girls, some about my parents and even my city, but I would mostly call it a vision that comes to my mind. That sounds bigger than it is; it is just an idea of what I want to say, how I want it to look and where I want it to be shown. This inspiration could be one sentence from someone or a destroyed poster on the street. After finishing something it is about the feeling I get about it. Until now I was able to trust my stomach with that.

Your work is definitely current and cool. How would you describe your artistic work?
“Who gives a fuck.“ I want people to feel something when they look at my work. Either they think, how crude, stupid or embarrassing is this, or ‘oh nice this should be on my shirt’. If no one get’s my work, I’m okay with that.

What would you say is your biggest achievement?
The finding of my individual stroke. I always tried to draw perfect lines and give people perfect propositions, at one point I decided not to think about this anymore and let the style of myself come through the picture, like just let it happen. I want people to value this and buy things because of this identity.

Who is your biggest fan?
My parents.

Do you travel often for your work?
Once my girlfriend travelled to Australia as a model, then she flew over Singapore – stayed there for one or two month and came back to Hamburg. At the day she came back I had to leave for fashion week in Milan, so we just had a few hours. The next day she called me and told me that she will take a flight to join me in Milan. After four days she had to leave for the fashion week in Berlin and I had to travel to Paris for fashion week there. When I finished it, I decided to take a plane to Berlin, so that we have some time together. We took a bus from Berlin to Hamburg. This is one of my many stories about traveling.

Where is your favourite place you have visited?
It is a bit old skool, but New York is a heavy weight in my city ranking. New York is where graffiti and rap music came from! Hamburg is my favorite city of all time, but I must say I have visited a lot of cities and collected so much inspiration from them all.

Have you got any other interests?
Drinking and dancing.

What do you see in the future?
Civil war in many Cities. Demonstrations. Poverty.

What is your dream?
Moving my stuff forward until I can call it art by myself.

Where would you like to be in 10 years time?
In a position to be able to raise some kids. A boy and a girl.

Have you got any guilty pleasures or secret obsessions?
I love partying and dancing. I eat the ice from a drink. I don’t smoke weed. I’ve got tattoos I did by myself and did some for others - without an idea how to do it. I love mum and dad and my sisters. I think that the art scene is embarrassing in many ways. I think the modeling scene is embarrassing in many ways.

What song would there be in the playlist of your life?
C.R.E.A.M - Wu-Tang Clan. This one sentence; “cash rules everything around me“ is exactly what I think about our world.

Interview and Words by Mollie Smee.
Artwork by Tronje Thole Van Ellen.
Photo of Tronje courtesy of Lindsay Hamlyn.

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