A K Nicholas produces dream-like compositions inhabited by enticing figures; a visual journey to an unknown destination.
To explore a genre, we must change it by contributing something new, competence is not enough.
An unapologetic celebration of the female form, these images invite the viewer to explore a dreamlike world. Photography is simply a starting point on this journey to an unknown destination. The themes reference, both in homage and critique: hedonism, patriarchy, commercialism, tradition, and strength. This chosen perspective of beauty is neither overwrought with eroticism nor obligated to modesty.
Always at ease with visual expression, as a second generation artist, childhood included exposure to galleries and museums in dozens of countries. Although formally trained in painting and drawing, he chose photography as best suited to convey his ideas. "I feel the most intriguing images leave the viewer either unsure or unconcerned with the precise process of production."
The subjects are fictional residents of a parallel world, much like our own, frequently more beautiful, more interesting, and sometimes more frightening. The artwork is exploratory; a pastiche of borrowed cultural perceptions and glimpses into an alternate reality that is tantalizingly close.
The artist's visual language is a pastiche of cultural perceptions of femininity, from ancient fertility symbols to modern taboos. Sexuality is portrayed both as a biological fact and as an aspect of personality.
The photographs are not intended to be a technical tour-de-force. The technique is sufficient to convey a concept. When producing art there is no requirement to follow rules, be predictable, or appeal to a mass audience.
By design, these images appeal to a select group of viewers. The allure of mass recognition is seductive, but it is also creatively hazardous. It would be easy enough to simply distill a menu of classic poses, competent photographic practices, then apply effects that are commonly admired. Such images would be consumed, applauded without criticism, then quickly forgotten.
One of the most exciting things about any creative work is the discussion that surrounds it. For this artist, success is engaging the viewer emotionally or intellectually, whether that response be positive, negative, or inquisitive. Art should inspire our thoughts, rather than tell us what to think.
I am A K Nicholas, a visual artist specializing in figure (fine art nudes) photography. I produce coffee table style photobooks that showcase images, organized into themes with brief essays that introduce each section. limited edition archival photographs are available, with typically 25 or fewer impressions per edition. I also offer free, monthly online exhibits.
Biographical & Creative Development
A K Nicholas was born in the United States and raised in the Middle East. As a second-generation artist, with a childhood including exposure to galleries and museums in dozens of countries, he has always been at ease expressing himself visually. Although formally trained in painting and drawing, he chose photography as the medium which was best-suited to convey his ideas.
Experiencing the contrast between prudish and open cultures, his personal journey has taken him from self-imposed conformity to blend into a closed society, then as a foreigner in his own country, and then an unapologetic expression of his creativity.
Although childhood memories include touring the Louvre, Met, and Tate, a fondness for art did not begin until discovery of Hajime Sorayama, Tom Wesselman, Mel Ramos, and Helmut Newton. A tipping point occurred in high school, taking an art-history class in surrealism, and, like many adolescents, was briefly captivated by the paintings of Salvador Dali. While earning his degree, he was influenced by the impactful images of Sandy Skoglund, the philosophy of Andy Warhol, and the subject matter of Olivia De Berardinis. He would eventually look to Edward Hopper's use of light and posture to create a mood as well as the color pallets of Gustav Klimt.
From the age of nineteen, while still in art school, A K sold photography through commercial galleries. He has exhibited at The Charleston City Gallery as part of the Piccolo Spoleto Arts Festival Juried Show, as well as galleries in New York City, Charlotte, Fort Worth, and the Arts Center of the Ozarks. To reach a wide audience, the artwork is currently available online, unframed.
I extend heartfelt gratitude to those who collect my photographs 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.