Brooke, Ladder


  • From a limited edition of 6 gelatin silver photographs + 2 artist’s proofs
  • Selenium toned, archival process
  • Signed and numbered by artist A. K. Nicholas
  • Image: 22×18 inches/56×46 cm
  • Paper: 24×20 inches/61x51cm

Black and white photography nude

This is traditional black and white photography of a nude woman, hand produced in a darkroom through wet-chemical processing. Enlarged from a black and white 120 film negative, shot on a Hasselblad 500C/M film camera, no computers were involved.

A nude woman clings to an A-frame ladder. Her familiar pose as well as her pleasant facial expression and eye contact allude to conventional pin-up.

However, the entire right half of the image is left jarringly blank, while the ladder and the subject’s body form a condensed zig-zag within the left half. No line in the image aligns with the outer frame, and her hand, just out of view at the top, only heightens curiosity about the incongruity of this composition. The framing, although obviously premeditated feels haphazard. It is an act of visual rebelion, flaunting convention.

Bright light radiates from the background, with the subject’s right side almost blending into the wall. However, subtle shadows reveal the contours of her body, and a few dark areas provide just enough contrast.

Brooke is completely nude except for a key hung around her neck. An echo of Fourth of July swimwear is visible through tanlines. With nothing left hidden, this image is explicit as the subject flaunts her hourglass figure and invites the viewer in with her subtle smile and direct eye contact. Her legs cross as she aligns both feet on one rung of the ladder. Her left arm bends to rest her hand behind her head while her other arm extends, holding her pose.

Her curvy, organic form contrasts against the nearly empty planes of the background and the angular, industrial ladder. The key around her neck hints that she is a keeper of secrets and leaves the viewer to speculate what it might unlock. A wall outlet and three small boxes break up the negative space behind her with small points of interest.

This black and white photography nude, emphasizes the grainy retro motif achieved by shooting this image on film. The lack of color and the sparse scene keep the focus on the subject’s form, with the lines of the ladder repeatedly drawing the eye back to her body.


This photograph is shipped flat. This item may require additional fulfillment time before shipment. This photograph is hand-produced, enlarged from analog film. Analog film grain is characteristic of the process. Examine the artwork’s details by fully zooming in on each preview. Variations are normal evidence of the manual process. The edges may have a slight curl or exhibit drying clamp marks at the corners.

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