The art of A K Nicholas consists of dream-like compositions inhabited by enticing figures; a visual journey to an unknown destination.

A.K. Nicholas artist signature

Artist’s Statement

The art of A.K. Nicholas is an unapologetic celebration of the female nude. His artwork invites the viewer to explore a dreamlike world full of beauty and passion. The camera is merely a starting point on this visual journey to unknown destinations. His fantasy compositions draw upon disparate influences from French modernism nude paintings to more contemporary pinup art, mixed with elements of theatricality and performance. This unorthodox aesthetic blends sensual imagery with a painterly style of manipulated colors.

This view of beauty is not overshadowed by eroticism nor is it obligated to modesty, so it’s not for the timid. By design, these images appeal to select collectors: viewers who engage emotionally and intellectually, seeking inspiration rather than being told what to think. To explore a genre, we must change it by contributing something new; competence, ideas, and passion alone are not enough.

The subjects are fictional residents of a parallel world, much like our own, frequently more beautiful, more intense, 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. His artistic philosophy includes no requirement to follow every rule, be predictable or appeal to a mass audience. "I feel the most intriguing images leave the viewer either unsure or unconcerned with the precise process of production."

The art of A.K. Nicholas: Ava Backstroke, from a limited edition of 15. 24x36 inches
Ava Backstroke, from a limited edition of 15. 24x36 inches $940
The art of A.K. Nicholas: Counterpoise, from a limited edition of 15. 24x36 inches
Counterpoise, from a limited edition of 15. 24x36 inches $940

I am A.K. Nicholas, a visual artist specializing in figure (fine art nudes) photography. I live and work in Charleston, South Carolina. 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 photographs per edition. I also offer free, monthly online exhibits.

Artist, A.K. Nicholas
Artist, A K Nicholas

Biographical & Creative Development

A.K. is an American artist who was raised in the Middle East. As a second-generation artist, his third-culture upbringing included galleries and museums in dozens of countries. Although formally trained in painting and drawing, he found photography the medium best suited to convey his ideas.

He draws on his experiences in contrasting cultures, both prudish and open. His personal journey has gone from self-imposed conformity to blend into a closed society, to then being a foreigner in his own country, and arriving as an unapologetic expression of his creativity.

His fondness for art did not begin until discovering Hajime Sorayama, Tom Wesselmann, Mel Ramos, and Helmut Newton. A turning point occurred in high school, taking an art-history class about surrealism, and he, like many adolescents, was briefly captivated by the paintings of Salvador Dali. While earning his art degree, he was influenced by the impactful images of Sandy Skoglund, whose narratives imply connections by guiding the eye. Additionally, he was inspired by the work ethic of Andy Warhol, and the flair of Olivia De Berardinis. He would eventually look to Edward Hopper’s command of light and posture to evoke emotion.

A K Nicholas in the photography studio
In the studio

A.K. Nicholas wearing a tie
A K Nicholas wearing a tie

Gallery Exhibits

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.

Thank You

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.

Artist with one blue fingernail
A.K. Nicholas with Saatchi Art Catalog

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