I have discovered Michael on Facebook interacting with the posts of Antoine Josse. I liked his photos and was interested to learn more about his work. So I invited him to answer my artist interview. Thank you, Michael, for doing so! Here we go:
Please introduce yourself
I am Michael Nguyen, a Photo Artist in Gauting, Germany. In addition, I am in charge of Tagree.de as the Editor-in-chief. That’s all I can say. My works say a lot more about myself than I do :).
What is your definition of art?
I stand behind the statement of the German philosopher Theodor W. Adorno: “Art is magic, liberated from the lie of being truth”.
Why have you become an artist?
As a young man, I was fascinated by a saying of the writer and artist Francis Picabia: “Our head is round so that thinking can change direction”. At that time I was a male nurse but always interested in arts and the art scene. Art has been making me think, changing my mind, widening my perspectives and saving my soul. So in the 1980s and 1990s, I worked as journalist, poet, photographer, publisher, editor-in-chief of four special interest magazines, concert organizer, bookseller, online editor. After a decade of absence from the art scene, I came back to art at the beginning of 2018 during the dark time of my life. Yes, again, art saved my soul.
What kind of works of art do you offer?
At the moment, I focus on Photo Art, where I can creatively and freely express ideas and emotions without any restrictions of this physical world. But you can see some B&W pictures on my website.
What is your favourite work of art and why?
1: Dark road
This dark road is in Iceland, where I was some winters ago. It is like my life path then. I did not know where this road led or ended but I saw the sky above, flowers aside, and hope inside. It is melancholic and hopeful at the same time.
2: The Shadow in the Museum
Luck sometimes plays a more important role in photography than skill. I was lucky enough to capture this moment when the woman seemed to step outward the frame but leaving behind her shadow, revealing what she was doing.
How and where do you work?
Everywhere I go, my eyes and senses are in motion. With my camera, I capture small things we often don’t notice in everyday life. I like observing people and photograph them in daily situations. But my actual artistic work begins afterwards. The pictures are processed digitally. A picture normally goes several times through different image editing programs until I achieve the mood, the tone, the effect, the emotion and meaning that I want to express. Then the photo becomes a “painting” in which I show the true world of mine with all its beauties and horrors. That’s why I don’t consider myself a photographer, but an artist, a photo artist.
Who is your favorite artist?
The collage artist of Dadaism Hannah Höch and the important driving force for modern photography Man Ray, poet, artist and film author Jean Cocteau and German photographer Herbert List whose surreal-looking black-and-white photographs always fascinate me.
What is your favourite material to work and why?
Since all of my images are created digitally, there is no physical material involved. Of course, the tools one must have in photo art are at least a camera and a sort of computer (desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone) to edit the images. However, I have no favourite materials or tools. I use all possible means to create the results that I desire.
Could you live without making art and, if so, what other profession would you have chosen?
As above-mentioned, I was a male nurse then became involved in the art scene. Around 2008-2018, for some reasons, I could not make art. Such a long time without art made me depressed. I returned to art. It is destiny, I believe.
Where can others find you on the web?
Anything else you would like to add?
I am editor-in-chief at tagree.de, an online magazine for photography & art, a window on the world of visual arts, where artworks from selected artists around the globe are shown and shared. I hope you can find your new favourite artists here, or even better, join us to share your creative vision with the world.
I will definitely take a closer look, thanks for the hint! 😉
And thank you for your answers and photos, Michael!
Alle Fotos: Michael Nguyen
Titelfoto: “Walk on water”