Decades’ worth of images have been distilled down to 568 pages of photographs in this ultimate retrospective collection of Nobuyoshi Araki's work, selected by the artist himself.
First published as a limited edition and now available as a standard TASCHEN edition, the curation delves deep into Araki's best-known imagery: Tokyo street scenes; faces and foods; colorful, sensual flowers; female genitalia; and the Japanese art of kinbaku, or bondage. As girls lay bound but defiant and glistening petals assume suggestive shapes, Araki plays constantly with patterns of subjugation and emancipation, death and desire and with the slippage between serene image and shock.
Describing his bondage photographs as a ‘a collaboration between the subject and the photographer’, Araki seeks to come closer to his female subjects through photography, emphasizing the role of spoken conversation between himself and the model. In his native Japan, he has attained cult status for many women who feel liberated by his readiness to photograph the expression of their desire.
Nobuyoshi Arakiwas born in Tokyo in 1940. Given a camera by his father at the ripe age of twelve, Araki has been taking pictures ever since. He studied photography and film at Chiba University and went into commercial photography soon after graduating. In 1970 he created his famous Xeroxed Photo Albums, which he produced in limited editions and sent to friends, art critics, and people selected randomly from the telephone book. Over the years, his bold, unabashed photographs of his private life have been the object of a great deal of controversy and censorship (especially in his native Japan), a fact that has not fazed the artist nor diminished his influence. To date, Araki has published over 400 books of his work.