A. K. Nicholas is an American visual artist who creates photography in an unapologetic celebration of the female form. His painterly style mixes formal art training with theatrical elements. This unorthodox aesthetic is an escape from reality for the viewer. A. K.’s themes rely in varying degrees on formal composition to celebrate the feminine form.
Unlike many traditional photographers, documenting fact is irrelevant to A. K. The subject is more actor than model, improvising a character, time, and place. Hidden details can add mystery and nuance, intended to elicit speculation. Layered design is intended to keep viewers returning to an image.
A. K. is from the United States and was raised overseas as a second-generation artist.
A. K. Nicholas was born in the United States but raised in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. He comes from a family of artists and grew up visiting museums in dozens of countries. Although exposed to a great deal of art as a child, he did not have a personal interest in it until taking a surrealism art history class in the tenth grade. He learned traditional media such as painting and drawing in art school, but now works exclusively to produce photography.
A. K.’s initial training with anatomy was figure drawing class. He earned an art degree from Fort Lewis College in Durango CO.
After college, he supported himself by clerking and working the darkroom of a photography store. Soon after he became a freelance artist and professional photographer. He went back to school and got an MBA and tried a few different things, including managing large corporate teams and even getting licensed as a stockbroker. But art kept calling. A few years back he quit the day job. He doesn’t shoot advertisements, weddings, or celebrities; only artwork. He makes his own sets and props and is constantly scouting locations and subjects.
First Figure Shoot
As an art student, A. K. made figure drawings and paintings from live models. His first figure photo shoot occurred quite unexpectedly. After asking a classmate if he could photograph her, she entered the studio and fully disrobed, assuming that is what he had intended.
A. K. Nicholas expresses his creativity as limited edition archival photographs and artist’s monographs (pictorial books.) The pictorial books explore and celebrate beauty. Pictorial books are mainly launched through Kickstarter and sold on the gallery site, Bella Nuda.
A. K. Nicholas sold his first artwork at the age of nineteen, from a gallery exhibit near where he was attending college. He has held various other exhibits in Colorado, Texas, Arkansas, New York, North Carolina, and South Carolina. However, the bulk of his work is directed toward on a global audience online. Less than two percent of his sales are in South Carolina, where he resides.