Julien Nguyen’s paintings combine elements of art history, science fiction, and contemporary life in precisely rendered tableaus. Nguyen looks both back in time, to biblical or classical themes and their treatment across art history, and into the future, via science fiction and speculative worlds, drawing on sources as disparate as the paintings of Fra Angelico and the illustrations of Jean Giraud. He often employs the likeness of people he is closest to, and has said of his art, “Reality occurs only in the intimacy of understanding and being understood.”
Julien Nguyen (b. 1990) was born in Washington, DC, and lives and works in Los Angeles. His work was included in the 2017 Whitney Biennial and has been the subject of one-person exhibitions at the Swiss Institute in New York, Kunstverein München in Munich, and the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati.