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Nobuyoshi Araki (1940 - )

Lifespan: 1940 -

Related: art photography - transgressive art - fetish photography - contemporary art - Japanese erotica

Araki by Araki (2003) - Nobuyoshi Araki
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ARAKI BY ARAKI is a record of the career of Nobuyoshi Araki, self-styled "photomaniac" and permanent enfant terrible of the Japanese art world. Published to mark the artist's sixty-third birthday on May 25, 2003, this volume features 2002 photographs covering his entire career from 1963 to 2002. Sex-trade voyeur, recorder of Tokyo cityscapes, chronicler of married life, or experimental photo artist - no matter what your image of Araki, this collection will reveal new aspects of his talent, as it traces his unique vision over forty prolific years. All the pictures were selected by Araki himself (who also provides an original commentary), making ARAKI BY ARAKI not only a comprehensive but highly personal overview of the artist's work to date. High quality color and duotone black and white printing ensure the highest standard of reproduction throughout. --From the Publisher

Nobuyoshi Araki Google gallery

Of the many photographers currently unsettling the art scenes of the Western world, Nobuyoshi Araki is perhaps the most bizarre figure of all. His subjects are difficult to grasp for western viewers, who find them baffling or disturbing, or in many cases both at once. That is not to say that Japanese pictorial motifs are incomprehensible per se - for that is not true at all. Japanese art, from Hokusai’s woodcuts to the elegant sculptures of the Gutai group, offers westerners clues to Japanese culture - more so than the cinema, where film subtitles ordinarily lag far behind the obvious richness of the original language. But Araki’s photographs are not keys to an understanding of Japanese culture. In fact, one might prefer to rule out the possibility that they could be 'typical' of what moves Japanese people, and Japanese women in particular. --http://www.designautopsy.com/araki/article4.html


Nobuyoshi Araki (born May 25, 1940) is a Japanese photographer, pornographer, and contemporary artist from Tokyo. He has been widely accused by feminist groups of being a misogynist because of the content of many of his photographs.

Araki studied photography during his college years and then went to work at Dentsu (a Japanese advertising agency) where he also met his wife Yoko. After they were married, Araki published a book of pictures of his wife taken during their honeymoon titled Sentimental Journey. She died in 1990 of cancer. Pictures taken during her last days were published in a book titled Winter Journey.

Araki is probably best known for his photos documenting the Japanese sex industry, focusing on the Kabukicho district of Shinjuku in Tokyo in the 1980s. These were later published in Tokyo Lucky Hole.

Having published over 350 books (and still more every year) Araki is considered one of the most prolific artists alive or dead in Japan and around the world. Some of his most popular photography books are Sentimental Journey, Tokyo Lucky Hole (both described above), and Shino. He has also photographed for many pornographic magazines such as Playboy, Déjà-Vu, and Erotic Housewives. He has been arrested several times for breaking Japanese obscenity laws, and the curator of a museum was once arrested for displaying Araki's work. Araki, however, has never faced jail time or serious fines.

The musician Björk is an admirer of Araki's work, and at her request he photographed the cover of her remix album, Telegram. Araki's life and work were the subject of Travis Klose's 2005 documentary film Arakimentari. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobuyoshi_Araki [Feb 2007]

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