Nichole Washington
Nichole Washington

I empower women by portraying them with power, determination and focus. Many of my images feature women in confident poses, taken from a heroic angle. In For My Girls, I explore how 1990s female hip-hop artists inspired me to be proud of my African-American lineage, unapologetic for my liberated behavior and forceful in my approach to the culture at large. To translate this into photographic form, I start by creating highly active studio portraits of young black women, style them appropriately and ask them to strike specific poses. Then I paint and draw on the actual photographic prints, producing a one-of-a-kind image. Each subject determines the way I apply the paint, some strokes are aggressive and others are fluid.

Hip-hop has been the source of many role models for black youth in modern America. During the 1990s, black women were a dominating force in this genre of music. Artists such as Missy Elliot, Da Brat, Queen Latifah and Salt-N-Pepa had boisterous voices and styles to match. All of these women had unique musical sensibilities, fashion choices and physical attributes. None of them were limited by the stereotypical roles that are still imposed on young women today. As a girl growing up in the 1990s, I viewed many of these artists as role models. There was an element of sisterhood among them that I admired, and which I feel is missing in today’s hip-hop culture. I hope that For My Girls will empower women as a whole to honor themselves as well as the women who inspire them.

Artist Bios

  • Nichole Washington

    Nichole Washington

    Nichole Washington is a visual artist working and living in New York. In 2016 she graduated from School of Visual Arts where she earned a masters degree in digital photography. In 2017 She was a recipient of the Enfoco photography fellowship. Since earning her degree Nichole has been creating mixed media works exploring feminine strength and identity. Nichole’s work is featured in the inaugural issue of MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora. She has exhibited her work nationally in galleries and museums including at the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center. Nichole’s work has lent itself to a variety of projects including a mural at Black Girls Code headquarters in San Francisco, photo illustrations for The New Yorker and a variety of mixed media artwork commissions for companies such as HBO, Refinery29 and Players Tribune. Nichole has led workshops at Lower East Side Girls Club, Casita Maria and Vibe Theatre. Her work has been included in auctions supporting Heliotrope Foundation and Groundswell NYC.


  • United Photo Industries (UPI)

    United Photo Industries (UPI)

    United Photo Industries (UPI) is a New York based nonprofit organization that works to promote a wider understanding of, and increased access to, the art of photography.

    Since its founding in 2011, UPI has rapidly solidified its position in the public art landscape by continuing to showcase thought-provoking, challenging, and exceptional photography from across the globe. In its first seven years, UPI has presented the work of more than 2,500 visual artists in gallery exhibitions and public art installations worldwide.

For My Girls

 archive : 2016

Featuring: Nichole Washington

Presented by: United Photo Industries (UPI)
  • United Photo Industries (UPI)


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