Artist’s Statement

My images are a journey without a known destination. Photography is only a starting point. Departing from the camera's traditional role as factual communicator, I create fiction. My imagination leads the viewer on an expedition, mapping new territory in a dream-like world. At first, these photographic hallucinations seem real; the subjects and colors are plausible. Look closer and the theater is revealed. Delicate tones, vibrant colors, or subtle gradations mimic classic hand-colored photography. Inspired by oil painting, highlights and shadows are embellished with opposing hues of warm and cool to shape the illusion of depth and to set a mood. Golden-toned figures protrude from icy blue textures or stand starkly against plain backgrounds. Subtle alterations leave the viewer questioning how much is real.

Neither a technical tour de force nor designed to appeal to a mass audience, the artwork celebrates sensuality, referencing traditional ideas of beauty in a blend of nostalgia and commentary. The approach to nudity is unapologetic; a candid and individual perspective of sensuality, neither outright erotic, nor with a requirement for modesty. The subjects play characters with intoxicating personalities; dramatizing energy, desirability, playfulness, or defiance.

I am from the United States and was raised overseas as a second-generation artist. Childhood travels fostered a disdain for the formality of museums which faded when introduced to the work of Mel Ramos, Tom Wesselmann, and Hajime Sorayama. My initial training was figure drawing and painting from live models in art college. Subsequent influences include the symbolism of Sandy Skoglund, the psychologically complex subjects of Olivia De Berardinis, and the unpredictability of Edward Hopper.

I am A K Nicholas. I use photography and software to create fine art nudes. These include coffee table photobooks, organized into themes and introductory essays. Limited edition prints are available, with a small number of impressions per edition. I also offer free, monthly online exhibits. My artwork has been selected by curators at Saatchi Art, Artfinder, Art Majeur, and Fine Art Seen for their collections, catalogs, and awards.

Thank You

I extend heartfelt gratitude to those who collect my prints and books. Because of you, I am able to express myself through my images instead of working to someone else's specifications. I have a place to live and work, as well as nutritious food to eat. I can spend as much time as needed on my art. That is all I need. I would not trade a higher paying job for being able to produce my art.

Ava Backstroke, from a limited edition of 15. 24x36 inches
Ava Backstroke, from a limited edition of 15. 24x36 inches $900