Fruit of Knowledge


  • From a limited edition of 6 archival photographs
  • Signed and numbered by artist A K Nicholas
  • Image: 24×16 inches/61×41 cm
  • Paper: 26×18 inches/66×46 cm


Art-ID: JF1_1206 Category: Collections: , ,


This surreal art photograph incorporates graphical, figurative, and allegorical elements.

Books have been symbolic of scholastic pursuits, appearing in artistic compositions for hundreds of years. Early books are associated with monasteries, giving them an air of tradition and religious propriety. A stack of books appears below the tree. The cryptic spine titles hint at an exotic knowledge. These encompass more than what is taught in the confines of the halls in the background.

A solitary nude figure stands defiantly with nature. She has, for now at least, abandoned bookishness and rigor, embracing her free self. Whether she is an embodiment of desire or an object of desire is ambiguous. Her allure balances her representation of indulgence.

An institutional building in the background, symbolizing the structure implemented in her life. Potted flowers grow on the windows, epitomizing a prescribed life lived in one place.  A well-manicured lawn stretches the distance between her and the building. It is also a metaphor for her emotional distance from the discretion that the institution signifies. The sky is cloudy but not stormy, with hints of strong sunlight behind the haze.

The pair of spectacles atop the stack of books represents intellectualism. The red apple has a dual meaning associated with scholastic endeavors and also the fruit of knowledge of the garden of Eden. The red swath adds a hand-drawn feeling and symbolizes passion and adventure. Her body is rendered in monochrome skin tones. The coloring of the body is close to a graphite/watercolor effect.

The juxtaposition of elements represent primal desire and the forces that thwart it. The symbolism and elements referencing the subconscious make this a surreal art photograph.

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