Mercedes-Benz Financial Services

Nicola DeFina

Strictly Platonic

2011, India ink and pigment liner on paper, 30”w x 43.5”h

Symbolism of Relationships

I see relationships by means of similes and metaphors, and I address their representation through symbolic imagery. I carefully consider my selection of imagery when creating a piece that I hope will essentially sum up the status of a current relationship I have with someone. The recurring images I use in my illustrations are plants, flowers and slugs. I use the slug form as symbolic representation of myself. I can relate to the slug’s slow yet relentless pace as it and I get by in life, forging new relationships along the way with others.

During the process of creating each piece I carefully map out and consider how I illustrate forms and compositions in such manners as I recall thoughts of specific relationships. The forms and compositions I use have become more complex, and my selection of flowers and plants have deep rooted meaning. A flower I often use is the Protea; it’s known to have 1,000 different forms so I combine the facts of this flower and juxtapose it to a relationship that I have with a friend which has gone through many changes. The slug forms which are mean to represent me are embellished with twists, turns and knots to symbolize the different feelings I have in a certain relationship. Although the imagery and symbolism in my illustrations are quite exclusive to the average viewer, I intend to create a prominent theme of developing relationships that everyone can relate to.


Nicola DeFina - Strictly Platonic

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Due to the building guidelines that are in place in response to the COVID-19 situation, we are unable to install a new art exhibit in our Farmington Hills, Michigan and Fort Worth, Texas offices.

Thankfully, the majority of artists who currently have their work on display in our Michigan and Texas locations have graciously allowed us to continue to do so through the spring of 2021. We would like to extend a huge thank you to those artists and we look forward to continuing with a new exhibition in the summer of 2021.