By Chema Noriega.
What does it mean to be an artist today? What is art in 2018? As in everything else, history has shown us that the conception of art and the artistic has evolved between periods and societies. From cave paintings in caves around the world, they gave way to artistic manifestations that told the story of great civilizations from China to Mesoamerica, through the elitist art of European monarchies and the Renaissance, to the avant-garde of the 20th century, which diversified and democratised the world’s artistic scene, setting the stage for all the disciplines, techniques and means of artistic expression that we now classify or attempt to classify as art.
What is it that makes all these forms, rites, strokes, experiences, stains and sounds come together under one word? To tell the truth, I think we will never know and, more than approaching a consensus, the debate on the definition of the artistic is constantly expanding, hand in hand with the evolution of the media with which an artistic piece can be created and the spaces in which it can be exhibited or distributed.
In these times of ambiguity or plurality, depending on the lens with which one looks, it is common to question the artist about whether his work is artistic or not. And if a work is not art, then what is it? “It is what it is. I don’t think it’s anything unique or different. I’m just being myself,” says Yis Goodwin, better known as Nosego, in an interview with The Hufftington Post when asked why his art is not art. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Nosego is a multidisciplinary contemporary artist who embraces urban art as one of the many platforms on which his work reaches the public.
This philosophy that removes labels from the forms of expression and breaks down the barriers that limit creativity, is the one that allows Nosego to inspire people with messages translated into fantastic creatures that fuse with urban life and impact people’s imaginations in the blink of an eye. After being rejected by different institutions to exhibit and further develop his work, Goodwin saw in the refusal the perfect excuse to emancipate himself from the bureaucracy that usually obscures art, to take his work to the spaces where it could really have an effect on people: the street.
In Nosego’s compositions different elements converge that give life to dream beings, composed of figures and characters that emanate from his imagination. According to Goodwin himself, these assemblages have their origin in childhood, when the uneven compositions that could arise at the moment of joining one toy with another evoked in him a new possibility to create and play. Now that same style of voluminous patterns and vibrant textures, which form characters converted into living ecosystems, has its origin in the conception of life as a set of moments, memories and lessons that structure our identity, a whole that represents us with our different nuances and defines us as people.
For Nosego, life is a collection of small moments that together tell a great story, with this slogan he wants his art to take him to places where he can connect with different people and communities, always attracted by the mystery of not knowing what his next destination will be. With the arrival of spring in the city of Querétaro, the imagination of Nosego will also come to participate in the international festival SeaWalls: Water is One to be held from March 27 to April 15, 2018. Water is One, is a collaboration of Nueve Arte Urbano and the Pangeaseed Foundation, in conjunction with different private and governmental institutions, which aim to increase awareness of the global crisis surrounding the vital liquid, through the possibilities offered by urban art and muralism. Nosego will join a multicultural group of artists who, with sprays and brushes in hand, will translate the history and problems of water into visual narratives that connect with society, while contributing to the change in mentality that the current water situation on our planet demands.
You can learn more about Nosego’s work at: