‘There’s Always More Show’ presents the latest work of narrative painter Michelle Nguyen, whose dramatic tableaux have captured the attention of critics and collectors alike. In a loose gestural style characteristic of the artist’s work to date, ‘There’s Always More Show’ collapses the hierarchy between high and low culture with references as far reaching as art history to TV, Greek mythology to reality show kitsch - all brimming with allegorical meaning.
Borrowing its title from animated TV show Bojack Horseman, Nguyen wields her powerful storytelling style for her own ever-evolving serial cast of characters. Recurring leitmotifs of birds, fruit, insects and smoke pepper Nguyen’s scenes, creating delightful openings for viewers to interpret and project personal meanings. Unfinished faces and half-formed languid, recumbent bodies hint at themes of metamorphosis and change embodied more concretely by serpents and half-creature/ half-human beasts Medusa and Leda.
The enigmatic subjects and contexts in Nguyen’s vignettes are never fully reconciled, rather they are absorbed in a continual process of morphing, changing and becoming as they pop up here and again from scene to scene, canvas to canvas. Far from linear, their journey through self-discovery and redemption is winding and arduous, as symbolized by tigers and screaming figures.