Ava Backstroke 5/15


  • From a limited edition of 15 archival photographs
  • Signed and numbered by artist A K Nicholas
  • Image: 36×24 inches/91×61 cm
  • Paper: 38×26 inches/97×66 cm



Ava swims lazily in an expanse of sparkling azure. The water is calm but disturbed by a gentle mist and she appears almost weightless amidst the ripples. A gentle, serpentine shape is suggested by the curve of her body. A blackness at the top of the image implies a bottomless abyss. Only her hands, part of an arm, and her face break the surface. Her hair drifts out in reddish-brown spirals. This somewhat impressionistic nude artwork is comprised of small areas of color that form the subject and the negative space around her.

Portions near the top and throughout the image approach a deep black. Highlights of white linger on the surface. These contrasting tones intermingle along the borders between light and dark areas.

The figure is inverted with no solid point of reference in the water. With no horizon, sky, or land in sight, her location is ambiguous. Her form recedes into the texture of the waves as drops of water rain down. The soothing warmth of sunlight radiates from her skin.

My goal in creating this photograph was an impressionistic nude artwork that celebrated the body in a less obvious way. Her partial submersion and angle of her body pursue this goal.

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