Nobuyoshi Araki, ‘Untitled (from Pseudo Diary)’, Koller Auctions

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From an unknown edition. Signed on the reverse: nobuyoshi ARAKI. Image 29.7 x 40.5 cm on photopaper 35.5 x 43.4 cm.

Nobuyoshi Araki was born as the son of a shoe salesman in Tokyo in 1940. He studied at Chiba University from 1959-1963 and worked in an advertising company before beginning his freelance career as a photographer.

Araki is one of the most well-known and innovative photographers in Japan. His early works were dedicated to press and documentary photography and strongly influenced by Brassai, Cartier-Bresson and Godard; in addition to photos of children, Araki documented his honeymoon and published these pictures in the book “Sentimental Journey”. During the 1970s, Araki departed from documentation and turned to interpersonal themes. With his works, he fathomed out the abysses of the human soul and eroticism; particularly notable among the latter is the series concerning kinbaku, a Japanese form of bondage.

Image rights: Courtesy Koller Auktionen.

About Nobuyoshi Araki

Nobuyoshi Araki is a prolific photographer who has produced thousands of photographs over the course of his career. He became famous for “Un Voyage Sentimental” (1971), a series of photos depicting both banal and deeply intimate scenes of his wife during their honeymoon. A number of his works feature young women in sexualized situations: “Kinbaku”, a series from 1979, features 101 photographs of women in rope bondage. He typically works in black-and-white photography, and his hallmark style is deliberately casual. “Rather than shooting something that looks like a professional photograph, I want my work to feel intimate, like someone in the subject’s inner circle shot them,” he says. More recently, Araki has been working on a series titled “Faces of Japan” (2009-) in which the artist photographs 500 to 1,000 people in each of Japan’s prefectures.

Japanese, b. 1940, Tokyo, Japan