I really don’t know where to start with this one…as it would be an understatement to say that Nobuyoshi Araki is in his own world in which photography is at the center. I can’t say that I know much of anything about Araki, though I can say I was near overwhelmed at the astonishing amount of Araki’s work that manages to find its way within this book of monolithic proportions.
Flowers, street photography, a smattering of experimental photography, photos of his cat and photos that chronicle his life are what make up this enormous collection of Araki’s work. Oh, and page after page after page of photos of women. Highly questionable, pornographically outlandish photos of women. Tons of them. This is what makes this write up so hard. Sure the other stuff is good; it’s honest, charming and his flowers are swarming with color. Though most are nowhere near the intensity and impact of the nude and nearly nude photographs that singe your brain. It’s pretty hard to forget the numerous photos of women, each barely wearing a kimono, being suspended from the ceiling with nothing but rope. It’s my opinion that simply writing these off as pornographic and nothing but would be misinterpreting them. I’m at a loss for words when it comes to trying to understand just what Araki is trying to communicate with such photos or even the very idea, though I suppose that’s why they’re so interesting. At the risk of dealing with crybabies, I’ve chosen not to upload any of these photos. I mean no offense to Araki himself, but that’s not something that I have the time to come under fire for.
I’ll let you be the judge of such artistic entanglements on your own time…
Your local bookstore or library should have something similar to this book if not this very book itself, but if worse comes to worse, you can order it here.