Allegory of the Arch 2/10

Edition of 10 ~ 30×20 inches


  • From a limited edition of 10 archival photographs
  • Signed and numbered by artist Aaron Knight
  • Image: 30×20 inches/76×51 cm
  • Paper: 32×22 inches/81×56 cm


An angelic figure seems to have glowing wings in this fine art erotic photography. She appears to defy physics, leaning forward, perched on her heels. Her figure hovers amongst arches of a Moroccan place of worship. Arches allow architectural structures to ascend to greater heights; this is symbolic in this image as we look up at the columns. Close observation reveals that she bares an ankh (ancient Egyptian symbol for eternal life) suspended from her neck. The nude woman’s arms are outstretched with flowers symbolically placed on wrists and feet. The feeling is overwhelmingly of positive energy overcoming hardship, columns and wings allow great heights against the force of gravity; the Christ-like figure resurrected in the face of persecution; flower blossoms signifying the awakening of springtime.

The architectural background in this montage is from my personal history, photographed during a family vacation. I stood in this place many years before creating this artwork. The pair of photographs span from my childhood to the present. It exists now in my mind and this fine art erotic photography with little resemblance to the original experience.

The predominant tones of the background are deep sapphire and golden amber. The nude woman stands out against the cool blues and harmonizes with the warm yellows of this art photograph. Vertical and horizontal lines build and organized structure to the composition, overlayed by the repeated circle. The two rings interlock, similar to an infinity symbol and implying unity.

I have a longstanding fascination with symbolic artwork such as medieval allegorical paintings and monastic icons. Through symbolism, artists had the opportunity to experiment with less conventional subjects without attracting scrutiny. This genre added impetus to refine artistic depictions of the human form.

Despite the parallels with religious allegories, the image is not meant to reflect any particular belief. The meaning is non-specific, open to interpretation but connotes feelings of reawakening and rejuvenation.

When I was studying art and anatomy in college, I was fascinated by Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs of Lisa Lyon. These images showed me an artistic study of athletic physique could be mixed with pinup. Mapplethorpe purportedly said “Beauty and the devil are the same thing.” and was called the Jekyll and Hyde of photography. Each of these was a combination that continued to interest me as I developed my style.

The elaborate composition can be contrasted with more classic pin-up art photography, shot on a plain studio background.

More art photography: