Californienne nu


  • From a limited edition of 10 archival photographs
  • Signed and numbered by artist A. K. Nicholas
  • Image: 20×30 inches/51×76 cm
  • Paper: 22×32 inches/56×81 cm



This image owes much to the pin-up genre, celebrity portraits, and other collectible nude photography. A nude female figure floats in a crystalline pool. A white sun hat hides her eyes and the water cools her exhausted body, post workout. The steps support her as she lies parallel to her submerged shadow. Her smooth outline reverberates in the ripples. Auburn tendrils of hair fall from her hat, barely grazing the surface.

Marbled tiles mark the edge of the pool. The pool’s edge and other lines arc to a focus on her face and hands. Manicured, deep green foliage populates the background, accented by delicate yellow and pink flowers.

The image contains an arrangement of horizontal forms. The band of greenery along the top is parallelled by the strip of tiles. The body and two dark blue shadows (that of the body and that of the pool edge) mirror these arrangements. These various horizontal areas are interrupted and punctuated by the diagonals of the steps and the break in the hedge.

Collectible nude photography often portrays aspirational lifestyles or celebrates luxurious achievements. The piece has an air of luxury and self-image that recalls the myth of Narcissus. The well-maintained pool and ornate landscaping suggest an extravagant setting. This is paired with the natural beauty of the nude female form. Though her head is turned toward the viewer, her thoughts are on herself.

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