Harpies Nesting

Size: 72 X 57 in.
Oil and Pastel on Canvas

Current location: Toronto

Please contact the gallery for more information on this work.

The artist states:

I often pull figures from classical painting (often female nudes), and use them as references for my works. For large-scale works, I use a projector to trace their likeness onto canvas. Through the process of painting, they are stripped of their humanity and slowly transformed into various hybrid beasts—they sprout snakes from their scalp and fur all over their bodies. Their feet become hooves and hands claws, and sometimes, the figures disappear altogether into the background. This methodology fits well within the themes of my work, which have been mainly focused on metamorphosis, and how difficult, painful, and slow (but necessary!) changing and growing can be.

I never have a clear idea of what the final piece will look like.  My process is mostly exploratory. I always allow myself a lot of wiggle room to allow the painting to grow organically over the course of its production. My process relies heavily on ‘the accident,’ which occurs through involuntary marks upon canvas, and using said marks to further develop the overall image. This process is seen most clearly through Succubi Feeding’ and ‘Harpies Nesting’, which I created side by side (both which originally featured the same five figures). I often work on more than one painting at a time using the same physical palette, which allows the pieces to invariably influence one another.”  

Nguyen's illustrative paintings employ a variety of techniques using oil paint and pastel on a canvas surface. Rife with narrative symbols, her dramatic tableaus sing with chaotic tension and humorous undertones. Painted in jewel tones and highlighted by soft-hued pastels, starkly contrasted by bold gestural markings, Nguyen's works are ready to hang framed or unframed.

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