Chiaro Scuro Nudo 3/10

Edition of 10 ~ 20×16 inches


  • From a limited edition of 10 archival photographs
  • Signed and numbered by artist Aaron Knight
  • Image: 20×16 inches/51×41 cm
  • Paper: 22×18 inches/56×46 cm


Nude art monochrome photography

As the title suggests, this is a monochrome photography nude art study of the figure in light and dark. Chiaroscuro is the use of strong contrast and ‘nudo’ is Italian for naked. Although the title is a bit tongue-in-cheek, this is a deliberate aesthetic study.

The digital image is mostly monochromatic with a nod to traditional multi-chromatic toning techniques such as sepia, selenium, platinum, and palladium, which impart subtle tones.

Nude art and monochrome photography go hand in hand. Without the distraction of color, we are free to study the forms. The larger, closer body intersects the frame, while the other figure is anchored at the bottom. The hand of the closer figure overlaps with the hips and hand of the distant one, connecting the two visually.

The subjects, despite having drastically different skin tones, appear quite similar due to the variations in lighting. Models Narza (dark skin, in the center) and Tess (light skin, in shadow at left) contrast in pose and tone. The brightest light is on the darkest skin, evening out the differences and reminding viewers that our perception of race is often based on context.

The compelling nature of light (or lack thereof) on exposed flesh makes for an interesting exploration of the different aspects of the human form. This image can be as suggestive as it is discreet. This composition is a study in contrast in the various ways discussed, and also in scale. The distant figure appears approximately half the size of the closer one due to perspective.

The figures in this image are practically anonymous. One is faceless and the other provides only an indistinct profile.

This image was selected for the Piccolo Spoleto Juried Art Exhibition at the City Gallery of Charleston South Carolina (US). It was also selected by Vogue Italia editors for display on the Photovogue platform.

For a more traditional studio portrait, compare this black-and-white nude photograph.

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