Some declare the end of the world; others make new worlds. Julien Nguyen does a bit of both.
Nguyen’s portraits turn viewers into participants by demanding cinematic double takes: the placid first impression, followed by the sudden pull of the prehensile detailing, all hooks and burrs and barbs.
I found myself staring out the studio window constantly trying to clear my head. The tree in a way starts to feel like part of the studio. The painting is titled after John Ashbery’s poem Rivers and Mountains, which reads like an interior monologue I might have while thinking about these different subjects.