Monday, November 12, 2012


By J a m e s for JUMP magazine.
Winter 2012/2013: The Visual Issue cover story, p. 38. | Cover art by NoseGo.

"Walk over here this way. And do what you were going to do. And before you're done, look up,” Goodwin laughed as he mimicked the Made In America film crew.

Yis Goodwin, otherwise known as the illustrator and muralist NoseGo, was one of few Philadelphia creatives featured in the Ron Howard directed “Made In America” film. The forthcoming piece documented Jay-Z’s inaugural Philadelphia-housed music festival. The crew captured behind the scenes moments from headliners Gary Clark Jr., Dirty Projectors, D’Angelo, Rita Ora, Jill Scott, Santigold, Skrillex, Jay-Z, G.O.O.D. Music, and a certain Red Solo cup carrying festivalgoer named Beyoncé.

Goodwin was in good company.

He was chosen to participate in the collaborative mural within the festival’s “Made In Philly” exhibit. The camera crew followed him as he worked. Goodwin says it was an organic process. "They were cool and I'm incredibly honored having been part of it,” he reflected.

It is no surprise that Goodwin, an unconventional visual artist, was chosen to represent Philadelphia in the largest commercial music festival to grace the area. Goodwin’s style is gritty and fresh. Like the music associated with the city.

Experimental music is erratic and disparate and intense – fluid and rhythmic and hypnotic  And so it is with Yis Goodwin’s art. It’s layered… with kick.

When you were a kid with a toy box. And the toys were splattered over each other – a cluster of toys on the floor creating its own composition. When I paint I envision that,” says Goodwin.

His approach is elemental.

Philly’s modern cubist. 

Goodwin’s moniker NoseGo originated from a childhood nickname. “I used to do street art and went by the name Nose.”  As he transitioned professionally the name evolved to NoseGo – “Go” being the first two letters of his last name. “But also,” he interjected, “Go was perfect. Nose, go! It’s energetic. Like my work.”

Goodwin attended the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts before matriculating to University of the Arts. He graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Digital Media. During this period, he refocused his art toward illustrative expression. Philadelphia DJ and NoseGo collaborator Matthew “PHSH” Fishman-Dickerson cosigned Goodwin’s genius, “Me and Khari [Mateen] scored Yis’ senior project. At the time Yis was the co-owner of McJAWN.”  DJ PHSH acknowledged McJAWN and Goodwin were integral to his own artistic evolution. “The reason I appreciate Yis so much, he adds the right visual element. He’s just as avant-garde as my brain likes to go.”

Goodwin’s music collaborations continue to grow. He owns critically acclaimed mobile gaming company Broken Compass Studios, where he acts as Art Director. He enlisted Khari Mateen, his The Lunchroom collective-mate, to score an upcoming game release. Additionally, Goodwin created the artwork for West Philadelphia native Mic Stew’s PEACEWORLD Advance album, the artwork for local band Tsunami Rising’s A Silent Spring album, as well as the artwork for Los Angeles experimental Hip-Hop artist Cory Jreamz’ upcoming EP. 

Goodwin has created over a dozencommissioned murals, and exhibits his painted pieces regularly in galleries. He has been contracted by Converse, Lenova, and the hit Cartoon Network series Adventure Time. Goodwin is presently gearing for a two month installation at the Woodward Gallery in Manhattan. Additionally, he has had his work displayed in Texas, California, Spain, and in an upcoming segment of Streetosphère, France’s documentary series highlighting urban art.

Goodwin classifies his art as “urban contemporary.” Further explaining his imprint, “Some paintings I do often, where I have a realistic animal coming out of a cartoon mouth. The inspiration originally stemmed from growing up encountering the typical naysayers. Not just with artwork, with anything. That feeling that you have that you’re bigger than what you actually give off. That you’re actually stronger than what you actually give off. That cartoon character [referring to his artwork]. That’s me. A silly guy on the outside… but I have this animal power breaking out.”

A friend of his once declared to him 
“I feel big inside.” “I thought that was amazing,” he mused.

For NoseGo, growing pains helped spawn fun. “When I first painted something like that it was me releasing frustration, but now, now I do it because I think it’s a rad image.” 

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