Art Between Classic and contemporary.
NY Art Life: We are so thrilled to have you here with us Francis Nguyen. It is indeed a delight to talk about your accomplishments as an artist with a distinguished approach that stands out.
Francis Nguyen: Thank you so much for having me here, it is an honor. I really admire what you guys are doing here at NY Art Life for artists like myself and I have been very lucky to have found this passion for sculpting, drawing, and painting. I think every artist struggles to find their own voice and be distinctive in their work. Yes, I am very fortunate in this sense.
NY Art Life: Everyone here is excited to hear about your sculptures Francis Nguyen. I am particularly interested in the marble and stone carvings you do. NYAL was awestruck to find your male dancer sculpture and how beautifully it stood on one foot. At another time the sculpture of Thomas Cole “The Oxbow” took us all wondering how real it looked. Take us through the process so that our readers would finally get their queries answered. Do elaborate on how you make them look so realistic.
Francis Nguyen: It is magic, really it is. I have these tools and pretty much all of them you can find in the market, they are easily available. And then it’s a precise balance between powerful strikes and carving taps. I like to keep it real with my sculptures, following the physics of the structure helps in equally balancing the sculpture. I believe that parts of the body are naturally equilibrated and inherently dynamic, and this gives them an abstract quality as well as formal autonomy.
The Oxbow was simply a tribute and my admiration for Thomas Cole, and I had spent a great deal of time achieving his likeness. I often get messages from people who buy my art inquiring if they were part of a larger series. It is actually part of a larger series of medallions, of the Hudson River School Painters, commissioned by the Newington Cropsey Foundation, and it gives me so much positivity knowing my work is being appreciated.
NY Art Life: We have also been witnessing so many extraordinary oil paintings from you and what I was discussing with some of my colleagues was the attention to detail and the use of colors. One painting that caught our attention was the Roman. What is your thought process and how do you manage to perfect it?
Francis Nguyen: I do enjoy working with oil paints, they are durable and produce a more vibrant painting. Attention to detail is possible here as I get to make corrections over time and eliminate any shortcomings. I often suggest my followers do oil paintings as it allows more room for creativity as well as polishing one’s innovative skills and I also prefer working from life and imagination. I like to think that my clients are not only paying for something distinct and beautiful, but also for something that is going to endure the test of time.
NY Art Life: Francis my personal favorites have been those spectacular drawings you make, to be honest, your works appear to become alive the more one spends time watching them. The intensity as well as the distinction that makes your work stand out like this, what do you have to say in defense of such crimes?
Francis Nguyen: (laughs) No, no, I am not guilty of it all, these are just really kind words of appreciation on your part, I thank you for that. I am not certain how my audience would look at my drawings and what detail would they find which makes these drawings relevant and meaningful, there is no limit to imagination and I feel no artist has control over how their work is going to be received. As far as uniqueness is concerned I just think that it is because I always go for original ideas, this is crucial for a creative professional. Because only this will enable an artist to create something of their own.
NY Art Life: We have seen your work being exhibited at so many shows, how does it feel to have been part of these marvelous exhibitions and the response your work gets?
Francis Nguyen: Yes, I have been very fortunate to be able to participate in a number of shows and exhibitions and have my modest work presented alongside the outstanding products of all these brilliant artists. My work has been exhibited at different shows since 2007, some of the recent ones I got the opportunity to be part of were Familiar Faces, Soho Art Show, 91st Grand National Exhibition, 109th Annual Exhibition, and Take Home a Nude, all held in New York. To be honest, the audiences always surprise me, they have such an excellent eye for art and I love hearing their descriptions of my work, every artist needs positive criticism as well as compliments.
NY Art Life: Another thing that we noted is that you have worked over the years with a number of institutions as an instructor or teacher. We have seen that many artists after spending ages go into teaching, but you are doing it so early on in your career. How has your experience been and what do you, as an artist, want to achieve from it?
Francis Nguyen: Certainly, yes. I have been asked to teach at many institutions and colleges, such as the Arts Students League, National Academy, and Educational Alliance, New York, in addition, to being a professional artist. Additionally, I assisted Steven Assael in the classroom, and I learned a lot from him. I try to emulate him in my painting technique.
For an artist like myself, teaching is a sign that your artistic approach and knowledge are valued by society. Your legitimacy and reputation in your profession have increased as a result of this recognition, and you are now powerful enough to have an impact on another generation.
NY Art Life: Considering how you have established yourself as a creative professional, what do you feel about your achievements so far? How do you approach appreciation coming from such well-known platforms?
Francis Nguyen: I have still a long way to go, I truly believe that. I’ve got numerous awards and acknowledgments for my work. Coming from institutions like the Art Renewal Center, the Rockland community, Modern Art Foundry, and other prestigious platforms. I have also received the honor of being a cultural ambassador for ‘No boundaries’, at the United Nations Headquarters, NY, from 2016-17. I came first in 2015 at FAME, American Artist Professional League. All such accolades have really contributed to my confidence in my work.
NY Art Life: You have been a good sport doing this interview with us, we can’t thank you enough for sharing your journey as an artist with our audience, I am certain they would love to read all about it. any final thoughts or suggestions you would like to give to young artists who are trying to get their voices heard?
Francis Nguyen: Well yes why not, I see so many young artists who are so talented and hardworking but somehow, they end up getting frustrated due to the overwhelming competition. My modest advice to all these youngsters would be to always remember what initially motivated them and what they are truly passionate about. Art grows on you with time and so does success. There is a hard time which is subsequently followed by appreciation and trust me guys this hard work is worth it.
NY Art Life: That is truly remarkable! Let’s end on this note, shall we?
Francis Nguyen: Yes, absolutely!
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