Droll Portal


  • From a limited edition of 6 archival photographs
  • Signed and numbered by artist A K Nicholas
  • Image: 26.7×40 inches/68×102 cm
  • Paper: 28.7×42 inches/73×107 cm


This is a black & white fine art nude erotic pin-up photograph, borrowing from several genres and not fully belonging in any. Black and white can seem like a dream. A nude figure is poised on toes, slightly left of center, against a dilapidated door. Rust, drip trails, and soot from a fire all speak about its history.

The woman begins to open the door that hasn’t had a human touch in many years. She’s stopped dead in her tracks when she sees an animal skull lying in the brambles.

A vintage Coke machine is propped at the extreme left edge of the frame. Its paint and lettering faded from the passage of time.

Vines and branches have invaded the structure, but these too seem to have died. The only vibrant element is the solitary figure, who reaches but halfway up the scene. Although the body occupies a minority of the scene, the stark contrast of her light-colored frame in the expanse of gray textures commands the viewer’s attention.

The composition depends on a variety of rectangles: the figure occupies the main space of the door; she is flanked on either side by verticle rectangles; and framed at the top by the horizontal rectangle of concrete above the door. The coke machine, and the lines within it, echo the right angles of the concrete blocks and door. The blocks of the wall have faint lines around each one. All of these rigid vertical and horizontal lines contain the organic shapes of the vines, rust, drips, and peeling paint.

The color scheme of muted warm grays helps set the mood in two ways: it reminds us of older photographic processes such as sepia tones, but it also helps to unite the incongruous elements.

This black & white fine art nude erotic pin-up photograph blends various motifs. The pose of the model is derived from classic pin-up, but with a subtle erotic twist: the shift of her hips and the placement of her feet emphasizes the area of her buttocks. However, deep shadow keeps this posture from being explicit.

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