Week 5 // Artist Conversation // Tony Nguyen

Artist: Tony Nguyen                                                                                                                              Exhibit: Casual and Random Thoughts                                                                                                                                                    Media: Metals                                                                                                                                       Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery East                                                                  Instagram: elll_tigre                                                                                                                                                      Website: N/A

About the Artist

Tony Nguyen is currently an undergraduate student at CSULB. He specializes in using metals. He came to CSULB as a drawing/painting major but he decided to explore a new medium because he found out that he wasn’t a great illustrator. When he took his first foundation 3D, he discovered that he had a remarkable talent using his hands. He took on metals, ceramics, and wood and since then he’s been in love. Tony is a Capricorn and he loves to drink Asahi beer. Tony’s hobbies consist of gaming, reading comic books, writing, and an amateur pastry chef. In 3-5 years, Tony says he wants to be in graduate school for metals and hopefully in  a committed relationship.

Formal Analysis

The piece I thought was absolutely intriguing was of “Mailbox”. It didn’t look like a traditional mailbox. It reminded me of the barrels on the Titanic that blew out steam. The top tier was a reddish brown color and the bottom tier was black. There were gold letters bolted onto the mailbox with the initials ET. It had a gold crown on top of the initials as well. Above both of those were instructions. It read “Insert a comment on paper and it will be read by the artist” Pick up times: “Monday-Thursday at 5:00 PM” Above the instructions was a slit for the letters. His other pieces resemble warrior-like ensemble but this piece was emotional and endearing, in a way.

Content Analysis

The artist gave me the impression that he is the type of person who will try anything. He seems very driven to accomplish his goals, which is where the warrior pieces resemble that side of him. But as we continued talking, I found that he is a very sweet person and sort of a hopeless romantic. The mailbox piece resembled that side of him. He told me about a time when he had to cope with heartbreak through his work. He wanted to create pieces that would make people feel happy or empowered, in hopes of making people who look at his art feel better if they are in a dump themselves.

My Experience

My meeting with Tony was an eye opening experience. Both of us come from a similar backgrounds. Both of our parents are immigrants to this country and we both wanted to pursue our passion for art. We went about doing this in different ways and we are going to school for the most opposite things but we got along really well. We both believe that going to school for a specific major doesn’t define who you are as a person. We both have been brought to this country by our parents so that we can live a life with no restrictions. His work reminds me of a slogan I live by: “Dominate Humbly” I attack every task I’m given with full force but I stay mindful of how I treat the people around me and make sure that I make them feel good. Similar to the theme of Tony’s work.


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