Wk 5– Artist Conversation – Tony Nguyen
Artist: Tony Nguyen
Exhibition: FUSE: Join to Form a Single Entity
Media: Metal, Silvers, Fire, Fur
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
About the Artist
It is Tony Nguyen’s 5th year here at CSULB. As an undergrad, Tony is going for a Fine Arts Degree. Tony is the only one of his family to have grown up in the United States. He explained that he finds his inspiration through meeting new people every day, and that he can find beauty in the everyday object.
While some of Tony’s work had materials such as fur, most of his art pieces were metallic. From what I saw, Tony integrated a lot of golds, blacks, and russet reds into his pieces. Many of them appeared to be smooth but end with jagged edges, others were more round. His works additionally gave of the impression of being old and classic in that they offered a sense of Aztec in its appearance. Finally, Tony had modeled most of his work with the materials of brass and copper, allowing for the cozy adventurous style of the past.
Tony’s work, as he had explained, often reflects upon the interactions he has with the people around him. That being said, I believe that much of his work is based on communication and the concept of casual communal thought. One of my favorite parts of his exhibit was that he offered a chance for feedback to his work. The mailbox, he had designed and that we have a picture for below, is a very beautiful piece. The mailbox itself is actually a working mailbox. This means that the people viewing his work can write him a letter and leave it in the slot, to where the artist would revive it at 5:00 anytime during the workweek to receive it. I believe that much of Tony’s work is made to demonstrate the concepts of time. While mailboxes are a system of the past in that so many people neglect today, they are too busy using technology as an easier yet cheaper form of communication, you can use it to leave him a message that he will read in the future. I believe that most of his works are meant to reflect upon the changes of time through history, and allow for a sense of respect and admiration for the ways of the past.
Synthesis / My Experience
I found Tony’s work to be intriguing. With the russet looking images of the past, I gained a feeling of thrill and excitement. The image at the top of the page is called “Mempo and Helmet”. The picture is of a small ring and a mask. This art piece gave off a feeling of Indiana Jones, demonstrating a sensation of riches and aged value. Along with the representation of time with the mail box, as well as his initials of his other face, E.T. of “El Tigre” Tony brings forth an adventurous other side of the situation. In these structures we can see that there are always two sides to a situation, respecting the past in the present, and looking forward to the future.