Thu Nguyen
A portrait of a little girl standing alone in a kitchen, her eyes closed, a red bow in her hair and in a white dress covered in little red hearts.

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The Valentine Dress
Collection of the artist

Thu Nguyen’s landscape and portrait paintings are inspired by such artists as Thomas Eakins and Andrew Wyeth. She is especially interested in studying her subjects’ emotional states. In this portrait of her daughter, Nguyen depicts “the contrast between the stereotype of a carefree, sweet childhood with the reality of a life often filled with anxiety.” The girl is represented as being detached from her environment, and her rigid pose contrasts with the whimsical, heart-shaped patterns on her dress.