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Agua NACIDA     
preview:  Friday, September 5

5 to 8 pm






Renowned Fashion and Beauty Photographer Hugh Arnold's North American Gallery Debut Featured in Conjunction with the International Release of His New Book


CHICAGO - Hilton | Asmus Contemporary, 716 N. Wells Street, presents "Agua Nacida," by photographer Hugh Arnold, Sept. 19 - Oct. 31, 2014. Arnold's appearance at Hilton | Asmus Contemporary marks his first exhibit in North America.  An Opening reception with the artist will be held Friday, Sept. 19 from 5:30 - 9 p.m with a Preview reception on Friday, September 5th.  


Arnold's North American gallery debut occurs in conjunction with the September release of his new book, also titled "Agua Nacida," published by Merrell Publishers, London


"Agua Nacida," meaning "water born" in Spanish, is a unique collection of large-scale underwater nudes, photographed amidst the unspoiled depths of the seas surrounding Fiji and Gozo. Inspired in part by the human life cycle, "Agua Nacida" explores the beauty of the human form and a symbolic transition from womb to womanhood, taking us on a parallel journey beneath the surface of the sea and the soul's hidden waters. The images are photographed and printed wall-size without the aid of digital enhancement. 


The collection features Chicago-native model Nika Lauraitis (who has appeared in Vogue Australia, Teen Vogue and Glamour magazine and has been featured in campaigns for Hermes Fragrance, Moschino Cheap and Chic, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Abercrombie & Fitch) and Norwegian model Polina Barbasova, (a finalist for "Norway's Next Top Model," who has been featured in editorial images for Numero, Elle UK and Marie Claire.)


One of the most sought-after fashion and beauty photographers in the industry, Arnold was trained as an actor but stumbled into photography between acting jobs. Arnold now focuses exclusively on fine art images.  Capturing the striking underwater images required Arnold to become a certified scuba diver to scout some of the planet's most beautiful underwater terrain, while also balancing photography equipment and directing models. 

To capture the images for "Agua Nacida," Arnold trained as a swimmer and diver in Egypt, equipped himself with the best quality equipment and initially flew to Australia to pursue his mission. Cold Antarctic currents, poor visibility, box jellyfish and sharks all conspired to push him to Fiji, where he shot until storms made diving impossible. Lured by the abundance of pristine underwater terrain and plentiful fish in Gozo, an island off Malta, he continued his mission with supermodels Nika Lauraitis and Polina Barbasova.


Hugh Arnold's editorial and advertising images, as well as celebrity portraits, have appeared in the fashion industry's leading publications around the world.  After being offered a contract by Australian Vogue early in his career, he returned to Europe, doing his first job exclusively with Armani clothes for Per Lui and Lei with Franca Sozzani in Milan. More fashion shoots followed, opening doors worldwide. He met Harpers and Queen editor Hamish Bowles during Fashion Week in Paris, who asked him to shoot Carla Bruni for the magazine, and subsequently began creating editorial images for various editions of Vogue, Tatler, Conde Nast Traveler and Glamour, among others. He also started shooting worldwide beauty campaigns for L'Oreal, Pantene, Wella, Max Factor, Nivea and La Perla.

"AUTOUR DU MONDE"  40" x 60" Lambda chromogenic print 

specializes in contemporary paintings, works on paper, fiber art, sculpture and photography. Featuring Chicago based artists, as well as internationally known artists from Europe, and in particular, the Mediterranean, the gallery is
   located in the River North Art District at the corner of Wells and Superior.

716 N. Wells
Chicago, IL 60654 USA

Our mission is to feature artwork that reflects on the essence of life in the "Return to Beauty" series.  Naturally, the first exhibition, 
"Agua Nacida," begins with water. 


For the next 6 months, the gallery will feature works that address the human relation to water which covers more than 70% of the Earth's surface.  "When a baby is born, it is made up of approximately 90% water.  As we grow into adulthood, human water composition reduces to about 70%.  Water is the most "perfect" element that has been provided for us on this earth."  

For this reason, Hilton | Asmus Contemporary has chosen to dedicate the gallery space to the theme of water and all things essential to life."

Photography by Hugh Arnold

Whilst living in the Balearic island of Ibiza, an island famous for the healing properties of its water, world-renowned photographer, Hugh Arnold (Vogue, Glamour, Conde Nast Traveler) was  moved to follow a new direction in his work. Inspired by the limitless possibilities of the three-dimensional, weightless medium of underwater photography, he embarked upon a 12-month adventure that would see him travel the world to explore man's relationship with the sea.  
Arnold began his journey in Australia, but cold Antarctic currents, poor visibility, box jellyfish and sharks all conspired to push Arnold further afield to Fiji where he shot until storms made diving impossible. Then, lured by the island of Gozo, off the coast of Malta, he travelled there to complete his mission. The result is a breathtaking collection of photographs chronicled in a luxurious 368-page book, which takes us on a journey to explore the ocean and ourselves in a totally new way. 
Immersed in the playfulness and sensuality of water, the swimmers, supermodels Nika Lauraitis and Polina Barbasova, express the cycles of Woman through fluidity of movement: the womb's embrace, growth, discovery, sexuality, and of course, beauty. Arnold's work provokes and invokes. It arouses reflection and understanding of man's connection to a greater and larger world.
The evocative collection that reflects  the ocean as a feminine element is captured in stunning imagery recreated as Lambda C-prints. 

Lambda printing is a unique printing process in the field of photography.  Combining the continuous tone of traditional chromogenic prints (also known as "C-Prints") with the control of today's digital printing, Lambda prints, or Digital C Types, are often considered to be some of the most beautiful and accurate prints available. Like a C-Print, the image becomes embedded in the emulsion, meaning that no ink or dot patterns are visible as in standard digital inkjet printing. The prints are generally high gloss, transparent, or metallic, allowing for even greater clarity, sharpness, and color saturation than other photographic processes.


AGUA NACIDA 368 page book 
Featuring over 175 stunning, original colour images by world-renowned photographer Hugh Arnold.

Texts by Stella Thomas, Founder & President of Global Water Fund and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, author of the acclaimed Gift from the Sea.