Parking Spot Four


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


Art-ID: MD3_1648 Category: Collections: , ,


Numbered parking spots are emblematic of rules to follow, corresponding to a meter or reservation.

When I was the age of six, I visited the Tanzanian archipelago of Zanzibar. My mother took the image seen in the background as reference for an oil painting. I am fascinated by the use of birds in composition, here they act the same way a fig leaf would in a Vatican nude.

In Christian art, birds are an analogy for the soul. Seagulls have a personal connection to me, having grown up near the water. I’ve lived near the coast most of my adult life as well. When I travel, seabirds connect me to my home and my youth. Caged birds have been used by commissioned artists to secretly symbolize wealthy patrons trapped by their cultural station. I use flying birds to symbolize both freedom and innocence.

The lines and number on the pavement draws attention to the texture and work with the shadows to tie the subject to the midground.

Zanzibar is one of those places where the women are typically covered for modesty, putting the onus on them rather than the men who might not control their urges. This woman is defiantly nude, with a small jest at prudishness with the strategically placed seagull wing, and her head tilted to the side.

It is less of my intent to assault alternate views than to foster conversation. This piece is sure to be a conversation starter, in your own defiance of mainstream society, framed in your home.


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