Nic Gaunt: Undressing the Man behind the love and the nudes

We were overly excited to be meeting the ​fashion snapper Nic Gaunt for many reasons! First, his exclusive artwork brings out a rainbow of emotions and reactions within us spanning fascination, amazement, shock with a tad of repulsion and more. Also, by his personality and style, he is an unmissable actor of our hood. Finally, Nic Gaunt is somewhat of a child prodigy. He was already playing and shooting with his camera by the age of 9 and was awarded the young photographer of the year in Britain at the mere age of 12!

Nic Gaunt: The Artist

After finding his talent at a young age, his own style evolved to “polished, constructed” work, influenced by his father’s strong interest in photography and by his mother, a UK window dresser. Growing up, he followed his mom as much as he could to her projects in London, Birmingham and everywhere she went for her work. “That’s where it started, I guess. I am a window dresser too, really. I kind of construct stuff inside a window too... That’s what my photography looks like - constructed, controlled, polished and posed rather than snap-shotic. In essence, it looks like a shop window” says Nic of his work.

Series: Obsession

Since then, his professional life has taken him from photography in the music industry to projects involving the Arts Council England. Nic has done some commissioned pieces for hotels and fashion brands but also makes time to pursue his own personal ideas. His work with high-end fashion photography led him to create a striking series called, Dead, which injects some “dark humour” into the staged world of, mannequin-like models.

Series: Dead

Nic loves creating reactive pieces, stimulating ‘some sort of emotion, some sort of reaction’, that starts a conversation about issues present in the public mind. Although his work features nudity and some confronting topics, they focus on the feelings of humanity, acceptance and empowerment.

The man also loves Hong Kong. And his hood. “What’s not to love about it?” he says when asked about Sai Wan, his home for 9 years. And his work transcribes this admiration for the uniqueness of the city.

Series: Naked in Hong Kong

During the gay rights protests, when the LGBT community in Hong Kong was “taking hits”, Nic invited couples to be photographed kissing to remind people of the humanity that everyone shares. This was the basis of the work series Kiss. His personal work challenges public views and stigmas about the LGBT community and voicing AIDS awareness.

Series: Kiss me

Nic’s current personal project aims to raise awareness of mental health issues which many struggle with silently, particularly in the busy lives of Hong Kongers. His works series Stone, depicts people carrying large boulders, symbolising the weight of mental illness people carry with them through their daily lives. The art will be displayed in November in the FCC.

Series: Stone

Nic Gaunt: The Family man

With his travelling for work, shoots, deadlines and a frenetic lifestyle, one would imagine that Nic does not have much time for family life. He however manages to balance his professional life with a fulfilling family life. Nic and his beautiful, bubbly wife Bex are a team in work and in life. Nic and Bex are inseparable. Married for 20 years, they are also parents to a lovely 12-year-old daughter.

Bex is the one that makes Nic’s photographs a reality. “Bex helps me realise my vision… She gets everything (for the shoot) sorted, takes care of all logistics, makes the booking etc., I just turn up and press the button”, Nic says in a fit of laughter.

Nic is also a very involved hands on parent. As a father, he is very open with his 12 year old about his work, which has a fair number of nudes and explicit photos. “She is laid back, a people person”. He also values and responds to her advice. “She casts a critical eye on everything I do. She has an opinion on every piece of work” and sometimes she says, “…don’t know about that dad you could do it this way or that way”, laughs Nic.

To decompress from work, Nic also has a passion away from photography. He gets his ME time on a riding his Harley Davidson. “I’m a big biker. I’ve always loved bikes. I’ve ridden bikes since I was 12…so I’ve ridden for 34 years now. One of the first things I did when we moved to Hong Kong was buy a bike. I love going out with a mate for a ride to Sai Kung, Lantau wherever.”

Apparently, Nic’s Harley Davidson is none other than Jackie Chan’s old bike. Nic bought it off Jackie Chan’s former hairdresser, who received it from the legend himself.

Stone Series: Model for Mental Health!

If you fancy a go in front of the camera for a good cause, Nic is looking for some volunteers.

Dressed in a suit or smart clothing (which can have a small print). Only need to take a couple of hours of your day. Male or female. Any age but have to be over 18.

Also, in case you want to own any of Nic s work, it can be purchased throughout the world at Art Shows and Galleries for prices starting at a soft 400HKD some small print that are not limited editions to much higher for the big more exclusive prints.

Interested to buy Nic’s works or participate in the Mental Health project? Contact Bex for more details: bexgaunt@gmail.com/ Whatsaap: +852 9155 7691

IG: @nic.gaunt

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