Cuong Nguyen’s Aspects

I find Cuong Nguyen’s portraits simply awe inspiring so it must be obvious what a delight it was for me to meet him in person at his opening reception for his show Aspects at the Triton Museum of Art!  This artist is so genuinely warm and friendly it was easy to see how he must put his subjects immediately at ease and be granted access to peer into their souls!

His muses milled about the guests and it was fun to spotting these models walking around the show: a distinctive pair of glasses, a pair of gorgeous eyes, a striking profile, these intimate details seemed familiar in real life after admiring them on the monumental scale that Cuong paints.

Preston Metcalf,  the Triton’s chief curator related to me a bit of the artist’s roots in Viet Nam where he began to paint as a boy of 10 and was tutored in the techniques of Russian Realism. He began his formal training at the Academy of Art in Saigon and continued at San Jose State studying Graphic Design and Illustration.  Cuong Nguyen has recently swept up all kinds of accolades including  Best in Show at the International Association of Pastel Societies’ 15th Juried Exhibition, Grand Prize of the Pastel Journal Magazine Competition 2010 and winning First Place at the Triton’s 2011 Statewide Painting Competition and Exhibition. Needless to say, Cuong has his hands full with commissions!

Aspects: Multiple Face, Multiple Views will be on exhibit at the Triton Museum of Art located on 1501 Warburton Avenue in San Jose, California until  November 11, 2012.

For more information check out and the artist’s website

Marie Cameron meets Cuong Nguyen at the Triton

It was a real pleasure meeting artist Cuong Nguyen at his reception for Aspects at the Triton! We’re standing in front of Him oil on canvas 48″ x 60″ (my favorite piece).

Cuong Nguyen's Portraits of Hope Triptych

Cuong Nguyen Portraits of Hope Triptych oil on canvas in Aspects.

Cuong Nguyen with Resolve and Muse

Cuong Nguyen with Resolve oil on canvas 40″ x 40″ and his muse.

Cuong Nguyen and His Many Muses

Cuong Nguyen and his many muses (including the amazing artist Jaya King).


Cuong Nguyen's Portraits of Blue and Green

Cuong Nguyen Portrait of Blue and Portrait of Green triptychs oil on canvas.

Cuong Nguyen's Up from Portraits of Green

Cuong Nguyen Up (Portraits of Green) oil on canvas 40″ x 40″.
I love this piece and understand that it was sold before the exhibition was fully installed. I adore tattoos in paintings and have one in the works myself (a painting with a tattoo, that is, not a real one).

Girl Viewing Cuong Nguyen's Her

This photograph of a girl viewing Cuong Nguyen’s Her oil on canvas 48″ x 60″ shows what it’s like to be face to face with one of these stunning paintings.


  1. Larger than life, scale, emoting, drama, introspection, exacting lighting, a softness that is startlingly realer than real……so many ASPECTS to the ASPECTS EXHIBITION of Nguyen’s.

    As well as seeming like a real likeable person himself, it’s all there.

    Me thinks we are all in the presence of greatness when we view Cuong’s art-life-work.

  2. Wow, you can really see the lingering influence of Russian Realism! Love the intensity. And do love how he, as an artist, seems so full of joy. It’s amazing the sterotypes we heap on artists, that one who paints such intense, almost fierce portraits, would present like this himself. Love the photo of the girl regarding the portrait. Makes me feel like I am there.

  3. mariecameron says:

    Yes, I think the intense, brooding, scary artist types would scare all the models away!

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