Nic Gaunt, a native Brit from the English Midlands, views his photography as an exercise in window dressing. It is a tribute to his mother – a professional window dresser - who first showed him this way of “stimulation of the mind”, as his mother referred to it.
Nic regards his lens as the ‘window’ through which the passer by gets exposed to his visual expressions - yet allows the viewer to continue the story.
The image is created in the viewfinder with post production refinement already in Nic’s mind, to create a powerful and highly finished piece. Whilst not appearing that way, the image is strongly controlled and of ultimate importance to his work. Lighting being the key element combined with precisely arranged composition, creates the message.
Influenced by Helmut Newton’s powerful and graphic images, Salvador Dali’s ‘playing with reality’ or Bob Carlos Clark’s ‘Rubber & Latex’ eroticism, Nic creates work that is both thought provoking while aesthetically stimulating to the viewer.
Nic undertook his Photographic degree at West Surrey College of Art and Design. This is where he met his mentor, photographer Brian Griffin who taught him the art of composing and messaging through one main visual.
After college, Nic spent many years in the London music industry working for the likes of EMI, Virgin, Chrysalis records and Ministry of Sound. He photographed the artists in preparation, in the studios and working on albums. Music like the visual arts are sensually stimulating with a strong but rather unconscious link to eroticism. Working with artists were formative for Nic’s hard hitting yet dynamic style.
It became important during this period for him to be able to create one off images, which encapsulate a singular thought, whilst remaining powerful and captivating, reflecting Nic’s core values. Like in of advertisement or “window dressing” - it is the meaning that stimulates the viewer – driving the direction – unconsciously.
Gaunt’s unique works are ultimately a field of his own vision. He is keen that every image is created through a new thought, provoking another thought while not just manufactured to the same repetitive styles. He uses the subjects as a conduit to an end where the imagery often poses a surreal yet realistic overtone with an underlying sexual tension - leaving the fantasy to the viewer to spin the story further, provoking a forbidden thought.
During the London year’s, Nic became more and more interested in contemporary arts and digital manipulation. He started to marry traditional photography with the abilities digital offers. In traditional photography as an art, everything is developed and manipulated in a darkroom. Nic uses digital manipulation as expansions of the darkroom.
While working on an entire series at a time, Nic is keen to develop and explore each idea individually first. Each frame leads to a continuation and forward looking to a new – therefore all frames within a series have a linkage in themselves and are linked to each other.
Filled with semiotic discourse and hidden rhetoric, Nic Gaunt’s work is often a comment on today’s society and its inner complexities. He continues to develop the idea of the images. They have a different way of expressing a similar thought within a context of style. It is the processing and depth of thought that holds them together and creates the sentence or story board, promoting inner strength and empowerment of the subject. “Created both in physical being as well as through the viewfinder, my aim is to create a finished piece that can stand alone and yet work within a series. The body is a perfect form through which emotion may be perceived, evoking a responsive thought or desire in the onlooker. The use of light, colour and form enhances the experience.”
Nic currently splits his time between Hong Kong and London, shooting for fashion magazines and advertising, whilst exhibiting his art worldwide.