• “What is real beauty?” is the eternal question that artist Nguyen Van Cuong examines with his work. His elegant and wistful portraits of women from different backgrounds are reminiscent of the slender-necked women of Modigliani. Nguyen Van Cuong’s inspiration spans the social spectrum, from the sophisticated ladies who grace the pages of magazines to the working women of red light districts to innocent children from small villages. He sees beauty in each of his subjects and his portraits resonate with the special light that attracted him in the first place. Still a relatively young artist, Nguyen Van Cuong has produced a body of work that blends classical portraiture and avant-garde expressionism. “Images of women standing in glass-cases inviting guests haunted me, they changed themselves with a particular purpose and through this they easily lost their natural beauty and became another person.” Cuong recently said in an interview. One sees this perspective in the artist’s portraits, which contain elements of satire but simultaneously exhibit the gravitas of an old masterpiece.
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