Marisa Trolley Car 6/25

Edition of 25 ~ 24×16 inches


  • From a limited edition of 25 archival photographs
  • Signed and numbered by artist Aaron Knight
  • Image: 24×16 inches/61×41 cm
  • Paper: 26×18 inches/66×46 cm


Contemporary Erotic Art Photography

An industrial setting is the context for this example of contemporary erotic art photography. Horizontal and vertical lines, textured with dilapidated, flaking paint, frame the nude figure. Cool tones of pale turquoise and teal contrast with the woman’s warmly hued torso. Additionally, hints of gold and rust nuance the surrounding texture and echo the colors of her body, helping to homogenize the image.

The setting is comprised of two trolley cars that had been set together as a dwelling after retiring from transit service in 1930s Charleston, South Carolina. After the American Civil War, iron tracks lined the town’s streets for the cars, which were initially horse-drawn. The last year that Charleston used electric streetcars for municipal transport was 1938.

At the time that I photographed them, the cars were in a vast, desolate vacant lot. Unfortunately, these specimens suffered years of vandalism. The owners have since removed the cars from this location.  They are scheduled for restoration as a historical display.

Marissa stands in the window of one car. The second car is visible through the window on the far wall, behind her. The setting provokes thoughts of what experiences and sights, including photography, must have happened in and around the cars over many generations. This environment is an unlikely one for contemporary erotic art photography, bringing a bit of visual irony to the image.

The pose is matter-of-fact: she stands to face the viewer, hips and shoulders aligned. But, she has turned her attention away, as if to notice something suddenly happening nearby. She expresses an overall calmness and curiosity. The unabashed expression and pose portray a high level of self-confidence and positivity. Her long hair recalls the femininity of a classic pinup, yet her athletic figure is a more modern adaptation.

I have performed a degree of urban exploration (urbex) to shoot art nude photographs. There is something seductive about abandoned places. They connect the viewer to the past, reminding us of change, and challenge the idea of permanency. The textures and forms that I can discover through urban exploration offer intriguing combinations and contrasts to the female form.

This artwork is in art collections in California, Michigan, Texas, and Belgium.

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