This black and white film nude conveys a quiet sense of curiosity. The female figure reclining in a chair appears at ease. The figure sits off-center, in middle gray tones. Her expression is a blend of listlessness and contentment. The cloth upholstered chair seems domestic yet the space feels industrial or commercial. She is simultaneously at home, yet out of place.
Her stare is level and unwavering. A hand clutches the opposite shoulder as she turns to steady her gaze. Her other hand rests on the arm of the chair. Around her neck a metal-ball chain suspends a key. What lock or door this instrument opens is a mystery.
The wall and floor are light grays, bordering on white. Little detail is evident in the floor, save faint seams between painted wood panels. A few scuffs and bits of debris tells a story of a previous refurbishment, followed by much use.
A black pipe and electrical cords at the right edge create a peculiar sense of balance in this relaxed composition. The angle of the floor is not quite horizontal. Although the various elements are static, nothing in the scene is quite square or seems fully resolved.
The composition houses an array of lines that depart from expectations. None of these lines: the union of the floor and wall, the pipe, chair legs, and the figure’s limbs, align with the picture’s edges. This less obvious compositional choice imparts the spontaneous mood of an impromptu moment. The arrangement suggests as much a moment from a movie as it does a meticulously composed still image.
This black and white film nude was photographed with a Hasselblad camera at a four-floor walkup near the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York City.
This image was exposed on Kodak 120 black and white film, then hand processed through traditional wet-chemical darkroom development. After being digitally scanned it is printed with the same process as A. K. Nicholas’s other limited edition archival photographs. Under close inspection, one can observe the slight film grain that tells of its analog origins.