On Coqui and the dilemma of art and emigration

Posted by Nat

Art is born out of talent, but also of stimuli.

What surrounds us, what nourishes us and even what hurts us molds what we create. From the way light hits objects to the way family patterns intertwine. From the way grammar organizes our words to the way society filters our experience of life. For an artist, leaving all of this behind in search of new inspiration is not an easy decision. What if once we leave our inspiration behind we are unable to ever create again? What if we never leave and our art grows complacent and stale? This is the dilemma behind the story of Coqui the Puerto Rican frog, who decides to leave his native Puerto Rico even though tradition states he may never be able to sing again. Coqui overcomes this obstacle by centering his art in himself and his own vision. And by discovering that—no matter where we live—we are all human beings with the same fears, passions and desires. In this way he embraces change instead of fearing it, feeding his creativity instead of blocking it. So he can go on creating new and better things instead of perfecting a relentless repetition of sameness. He embraces new artistic expressions—part past, part new—that revitalizes both him and the culture of his new abode.

As we each do everyday in this ever-changing city called New York.