|Nobuyoshi Araki is one of the most renowned and perhaps controversial Japanese photographers: a generous artist, a tireless explorer of human passions and a fine portrait maker. In the exhibition Araki Amore presented at Galleria Carla Sozzani, there is a selection of works curated by Filippo Maggia, mostly unpublished and produced in the last two years. The classic themes of his photographic research – nudes, portraits, floral arrangements, the orderly yet chaotic metropolitan city – are all read today and processed with the recovery of negatives from the past decades.
The female figure appears here to be as a less visible, almost evoked. Araki is never tired of exploring the mystery of the female universe, today as even more than fifteen years ago, when in Tokyo he said to Filippo Maggia: “I’ll tell you something that might even seem extreme and absurd: I do not know anything about the nature of women. Through the lens I try to extract the nature of things and, in the case of women, of what they are like, in their daily lives or in their sexuality. But they are all different from each other, and that’s why I keep on taking pictures.” The themes of eros and death are a constant in his work: “After reincarnation in my new life, photography will still be the first word that I utter. It’s been a 60-year contract, near enough. – Photography is love and death – that’ll be my epitaph”. Araki belongs to a generation of artists who emerged in the 1960s whilst Japan was experiencing radical economic growth and urbanisation as a result of post-war recovery.
| The societal transformations and cultural shifts influenced him. He likewise often reflects Japanese heritage, with the women wearing traditional dress and the contemporary fears. Likewise, many of his images feature mythical monsters, taken from the Kaiju – science fiction movies – where monsters attack Japanese cities. In the exhibition also three new compositions of more than 100 polaroid, in color and in black & white, that have been selected and put together by Araki as unique works, and a video documentary that presents, for the first time in Italy, Nobuyoshi Araki to work with the dancer Kaori in a naked portrait session, taken last year in July in Tokyo.