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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