Artist: Tony Nguyen
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery
About the Artist
Tony Nguyen is an undergraduate student pursuing a BFA in the School of Art’s Metal Program. In addition to attending CSULB, Tony is originally from Gardena, where his family currently resides. Interestingly enough, Tony began his time at CSULB as an engineering student but decided to follow his passion in art, changing majors into an art program. In his free time and much like a typical college student, Tony enjoys watching Netflix, but unlike some college students, Tony writes detective novels. After obtaining his BFA, Tony would like to continue his academic career in hopes of obtaining a master’s degree. Tony’s ideal career involves either working in Hollywood producing his artwork, or perhaps become a professor at a college level institute. Tony is incredibly family oriented, with a background from Vietnam; Tony takes great pride in his family background, whom of which we can appreciate as displayed greatly in his work!
Tony’s exhibition encompasses a variety of techniques while demonstrating intricacy in metal additions. Each individual piece was unique to how metal was worked into it. Some pieced included geometric edging, some pieces included careful sculpting into the metallic pieces, and other pieces included a metallic framework. Other objects included in his pieces include plastic containers typical of gumball machines, feathers strategically placed in an elaborate headpiece, and succulents schematically accenting pieces. The nature of the metallic pieces provides a luster that complements the sophisticated pieces.
In his work, Tony demonstrated his personal relationships along with his persona. Tony explained how the goal of his exhibition was to invoke a feeling of nostalgia back to a youth-period while bringing a smile to people’s faces. Easily achieving his goal, Tony displayed much of his easy-going persona into his work. The stories behind Tony’s pieces relate to his childhood and his personal experiences, which work to sympathize with audience members and their childhood memories. Tony mentions specific experiences relating to hobbies, characters, and personal philosophies he has or is experiencing. Through his personal involvement, Tony tells a story that allows the audience to feel comfortable and remind them of a simpler time.
Synthesis/ My Experience
I want to first start off with how amazing Tony is! He truly made his exhibition an experience, walking through every piece and explaining everything like a story. He really made everything personal which demonstrated how he takes passion in his work, weaving in his personal experiences into his work. Tony’s work reflects him as a person, highlighting his imagination. It was great to hear his fascination behind creating every piece and how he connected with it. Aside from the great presentation, Tony’s pieces were each so unique and interesting that I found myself amazed with the whole exhibition. I loved how intricate and detailed each piece was. Great Job!