Perspective is a word that we use when referring to visual art and help us highlighting infinite points from where we observe our surroundings. In the specific case of Nobuyoshi Araki, anything he decides to portray is nothing but astonishing.
Born (1940) and raised in Tokyo, Araki started his career working for the advertising agency Dentsu and spent his entire life as a photographer. His controversial work has gone under judgement several times, as Araki’s productions fluctuate between worldwide fame (his collections have been exhibited in Tate and SFMOMA) and several denounces for pornography. Nonetheless his charismatic insolence as well as expressive novelty, made him one of the most awarded photographers of contemporary days.
When looking at his pictures, observers are mesmerized, feeling almost intimidated by the explicit language used by Araki: in Tokyo Lucky Hole (2005), women bound with rope are portrayed in stark colors, vivid contrasts and thick outlines illustrating Japan in its profane aura.
Yet the artist’s potential lies in his ability to narrate multiple stories too. From his private life (i.e. Sentimental Journey/Winter Journey show the empathic relationship with his wife Yoko Aoki) to more melancholic thoughts about life, love and death, there is a progressive effort towards the definition of happiness.
Aged 77 years old and with more than 450 publications, Araki goes on with his camera. His recent collaborations with Bisazza, Bottega Veneta, Cartier Foundation and Supreme make evidence of how adulthood has somehow softened his provocativeness while giving space to images contemplating time-beats.