This sepia tone nude photograph combines elements of East and West. It is a surreal mixture of pin-up art with an exotic location. A statuesque nude woman strikes a pose on an asphalt street. She stands in a numbered parking spot against a backdrop of an old fort and mud brick walls.
A variety of interlocking regions of texture comprise this artwork. The walls of the fort have a mottled appearance that contrasts with the smooth skin of the nude body. The fine texture of her dark hair stands out in the undifferentiated gradient of the sky. An illusive graininess, reminiscent of days of old, pervades the entire sepia tone nude photograph.
Lines painted on the street, the base of the walls, and tops of the building, converge as lines of perspective. These edges indicate a hidden horizon and imply an eye level. Although the figure is centered, the angled lines add a dynamic element and draw the eye through the composition. There is a tension between the balance of lights and darks, and the placements of elements of the image.
Several details are evident upon visual exploration. Three birds dot the sky. Vegetation, apparently growing on the roof of the fort, protrudes above the parapets of the wall. People in the distance ride bicycles and a scooter. A woman in an abaya/burka stands in stark contrast to the unclothed protagonist. A small sign at left points the way to the post office, which we might assume is the white structure in the distance. The are hints along the right edge of two parked cars.
This image is a composite of an early family vacation photograph and a studio image I created as an adult. It depicts the storied Arab Fort in Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania. By adopting this imagery, I allude to the history of this location as well as my own history in my formative years.
Compare this intricate image to the same subject in a simpler monochrome art nude composition in the studio.