Fate and destiny are funny things aren’t they. On one hand I don’t believe that anyone has a predefined route to life, you make your own way and what happens happens. On the other hand, I do believe that you meet certain people for a reason and that no matter how long someone stays in your life, you have met them to either learn from, or open new experiences…good or bad. There are people that you wish you hadn’t met, but they make you stronger and wiser, and those you let in to see the soft under shell of the person you display publicly. Each of these meetings develop you as a person with each encounter, so maybe I am a small believer in fate.
I haven’t gone all deep an philosophical on you for no reason… so bear with me as I am sure you are wondering how a frog holding a piece of string as set me of on this tangent.
Yis “Nosego” Goodwin is a Philadelphia based artist who combines fine art techniques with a more contemporary approach. He is an artist who created paintings and murals with a vibrant and fresh pallet along with a juxtaposition of characters and environments, which fills his audiences with wonder and intrigue. There is a definite feel of infinity in his work, and a recalling of the past which can inspire the future.
In Nosego’s work, I can see a real attachment to folk stories which maybe from long ago, but penetrate our culture still. To me (and this is all very much my personal take on his art work) he uses small remnants of symbolism which can inspire a spark of memory for what has gone by.
“Unbreakable” has some key underlying symbolism in my eyes which made me think of the Chinese proverb of the red thread.
In the painting we see a large frog, pulling a piece of red thread between its fingers which has been tied together. Small sparks fly from the thread. The frog is tented in a floral cloth, and a waterfall can be seen beneath the tent. On the palms of the frogs ‘hands’, you can see the symbol for infinity.
The Chinese proverb of the red thread is that it binds you to someone that you are destined to meet. This has been attributed to finding your perfect partner or soulmate, but it has also been seen to be about meeting someone who is influential in your life. The thread being a symbol for a invisible bond between the two people, which binds them even before meeting.
The thread is representative of an unbreakable bond, no matter how much it tangles or stretches, it is there for an eternity.
With this story in mind, have another look at the painting. The frog with the red thread which has been tied together, it is being pulled but not broken, the sparks that fly from it could be related to the sparks of that infinite relationship.
The frog itself is a good luck charm in Chinese folklore bringing wealth and prosperity, and the floral cloth…covered in red roses which symbolise love (whether this be love of a friend or your ultimate partner is completely up to the viewer).
The waterfall is a symbol of rejuvenation or a letting go of pent up emotions, which we could relate to that rush of feelings when meeting the person that you are apparently bound to by the red thread.
This has such beautiful imagery, and the combination of nature with folklore gives such an intensity to the work. You can see very traditional landscape styles being mixed with the fantasy of the oversized frog, but it works so well.
I think that this is an amazing piece which seeps itself in the past and the present and pulls on peoples attachment to cultural relevance.
If you want to see more of Nosego’s work, you can find it here.
What do you think of this painting? Why not tell me in the comments? Like this post? Why not share it?