From a limited edition of 6 archival photographs
Signed and numbered by artist A K Nicholas
Image: 20×30 inches/51×76 cm
Paper: 22×32 inches/56×81 cm
Featuring the New York City skyline as seen from Manhattan's Lower East Side, this nude photograph takes a vantage point fourteen floors up. The iconic mirrored tower of One World Trade Center is visible in the distance under a dramatic vault of clouds. This NYC skyline nude is rendered in almost monochromatic tones reminiscent of sepia toned photography. Though not quite black and white, the effect draws the eye to the stark contrast between the figure and the background. This separation is emphasized by the soft focus of the architectural lines, compared to the crisp image of the body.
Vertical lines dominate this skyline nude, predominantly the New York skyscrapers, and also the bricks and fence that echo the patterns of the distant windows. Two metallic verticals, a gutter downspout at the left and a vent shaft at the right, frame the off-center figure.
Subtexts of this image are anonymity and isolation in a city of millions. Although there are countless lives being lived in every direction, the nude is alone and unnoticed in this cityscape. The number "14" appears on a nondescript container, implying there are at least 13 others somewhere nearby. An allusion to the numerous apartments below, also identified by number, and the multitude of nameless people one might encounter on any day in the city.
Despite undertones of urban isolation, the image has an overall uplifting quality. Her youthfulness, beauty, and confidence are metaphors for hope and optimism. The skyline nude stands out like a jewel in the desert, almost glowing against the somber background. Despite the dark tones, this image also reminds me of the galleries, museums, and artists at work below. The New York landmarks underscore the connection that many people have to this city, full of life, culture, and adventure, all available with just a bit of motivation.
Archival pigment photograph