Art Editorial Style: Khanh Nguyen

If I have to narrow down my editorial preferences, there are two things that make an artwork especially attractive: story and process. As I’ve written in my editor’s note for Issue 28, you can perceive an art piece’s story in a single glance. Sometimes, the story changes or grows the longer you look at it. Oftentimes, the story you see is different from what someone else sees. 

I chose the artworks for Issue 28 in hopes that readers will have a fun time exploring the stories each piece tells, and maybe even learn something new from the message each piece conveys. Take our cover artist, Jeff Rivers, for example. The subjects of his art have featureless faces, yet their clothing contains meaningful patterns and the positioning of their bodies exude emotions. Even without knowing Rivers’s inspiration for this collection – Tony Morrison’s Beloved – you can feel the poignant account of Southern life in each piece. Or take Kateryna Bortsova’s acrylic paintings, spread across maps of Spain, Germany, and Jordan. Might the powerful expressions of the male subjects reflect each location’s history? Or a facet of each location’s personality? 

Having been acquainted with artists my entire life, and having created art myself, I know the direction of an artwork is formed not just in the first idea but also during the process of creating. When artists pick up their tools, touch their canvas, and play with their composition, they discover new relationships between colors, shapes, textures and other art elements. What gets shared with the world is this personal and oftentimes vulnerable process. I feel this in pieces like Teresa Sites’s colorful collages. There is time-consuming sincerity in the arrangement of each cut of paper, a sincerity that better communicates her theme of movement and music. 

My time as an art editor was very fun personally, but I always thought about how readers of Superstition Review might experience the art I select. Whether it is a new story or the process of creating art, or just a relaxing moment, I hope our audience will experience something worthwhile in the work of the artists I have shared with them. 

Khanh Nguyen
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3 thoughts on “Art Editorial Style: Khanh Nguyen

  • February 10, 2022 at 7:09 pm
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    “What gets shared with the world is this personal and oftentimes vulnerable process.” It’s fascinating how artists leave parts of themselves in their projects. I think this is why it’s hard to be vulnerable with our work. When we take the time to craft something so meticulously, it’s like wrapping up a piece of ourselves and shipping it away. It’s really beautiful when you think about an artist’s work like that.

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  • February 13, 2022 at 2:00 pm
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    “Sometimes, the story changes or grows the longer you look at it.” makes me think of how I edit my work. Usually for assignments/essays I writing it maybe edit it then turn it in. But for other ‘for fun’ things that I write I’ll go back hours, days, or even months later. I’ll see mistakes and ways I can make it better. So sitting with your work or can inspire you more to make it better.

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  • February 14, 2022 at 11:20 am
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    “I hope our audience will experience something worthwhile in the work of the artists I have shared with them.”

    I really enjoy your posts on artists and their art Khanh! Each one I’ve read has introduced me to a new artist whom I would have never heard of before, so thank you! You do a wonderful job of allowing the audience to get to know the artist on a more personal level, and by doing so enable them to understand the art rather than just appreciate.

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