• Nobuyoshi Araki | It Was Once a Paradise

Araki

Nobuyoshi Araki | It Was Once a Paradise

1 June 2011 till 16 July 2011

For many decades now, Nobuyoshi Araki’s central themes have been sex and death. In his photographs they have always co-existed, depended on each other: there can be no lust for life, without the threat of death.

In this as-yet-unseen collection of devastating new works by the world-famous Japanese photographer, now in his 71st year, it is not so much death he is concerned with, but grief. In each of these 40 diptychs, he addresses the complex relationship between loss and desire, which translates as despair and hope, separation and symbiosis, the internal and the other.

The diptychs, each comprising two very different styles of photographs bring these two essential sides of Araki’s world together. But they also suggest other pairings: home and work; the personal and the impersonal; the homely and the erotic.

On one side of the diptych, in nostalgic, elegiac monochrome, he captures his private world. Often, these are close-ups of his beloved Tokyo balcony, a sanctuary where he used to enjoy the companionship of both his late wife and his cat. In these images, that personal space, although still redolent of happier times, has become a wasteland inhabited and patrolled by plastic dinosaurs, The dinosaur – at once fascinating,  predatory and fabled – has long been recognised as Araki’s alter-ego. While Araki himself is not present in these black and white images, the toy dinosaurs that populate the scenes serve to show the indelible, inescapable, nature of memory.

Countering these black and white scenes are striking colour images of naked women in erotic and at times, challenging poses. Some are tied up – almost bandaged; others are more freely provocative. This is Araki’s trademark subject matter, which has earned him international admiration. Occasionally, perhaps inevitably, the intimate mingles with the erotic, manifest in a plastic dinosaur crossing from one scene into another

Visually, Araki’s diptychs startle and excite. They leave an imprint in the mind.

At first they bear no relation to each other, but taken together, they are some of the most complete and personal works the artist has ever produced.

Araki has exhibited his work in international art institutions including Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris; Ikon Gallery, Birmingham; Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover; Deichtorhallen, Hamburg; and the Pinakothek der Moderne, Muenchen, among others.  His last solo exhibition was at the Museo d’Arte della Citta di Lugano.

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Past shows (selection)

Unseen Photo Fair 2017

22-09-2017 till 24-09-2017

Joel Morrison | Joel Morrison | New Works

06-05-2017 till 15-08-2017

Iris Schomaker | IRIS SCHOMAKER | Come To The Edge

25-2-2017 till 26-4-2017

Unseen Photo Fair 2016

23-09-2016 till 25-09-2016

Marcus Harvey | Marcus Harvey | SHIPBUILDING | New Works

25-11-2016 till 07-01-2017

Sculpture Project Gelderlandplein | Permanently On View

Donald Baechler | Donald Baechler | New Works

16-09-2016 till 15-11-2016

Photo London 2016 Somerset House, Booth no. X2

18-05-2016 till 22-05-2016

Irina Ionesco | Irina Ionesco | Ma réalité rêvée

19-03-2016 till 10-05-2016

Unseen Photo Fair 2015

18-09-2015 till 20-09-2015

Andrew Moore | Andrew Moore | New Works from Dirt Meridian and Cuba

28-11-2015 till 20-2-2016

Todd Hido | Todd Hido|Selections From A Survey: ‘Khrystyna’s World’

12-09-2015 till 21-11-2015

Araki | Nobuyoshi Araki | Alluring Hell

06-06-2015 till 15-08-2015

Araki | Araki | August and Megumi Kagurazaka

20 December 2014 till 28 February 2015

Barry Reigate | One Cannot Get Fingerprints From A Rock

4 October 2014 till 6 December 2014

Unseen Photofair 2014

18-09-2014 till 21-09-2014

Beauty of Darkness II

21 June 2014 till 04 August 2014

Miles Aldridge | One Black & White and Twenty Four Colour Photographs

8 March till 10 May 2014

Robert Yarber | Robert Yarber | Panic Pending

06-12-2013 till 25-01-2014

Artissima 2013

08-11-2013 till 10-11-2013

Harland Miller | Harland Miller | Wherever You Are Whatever You’re Doing This One’s For You

20-09-2013 till 24-11-2013

Unseen 2013

26-09-2013 till 29-09-2013

Something Like Summer

17-07-2013 till 13-09-2013

John Copeland | All We Ever Wanted Was Everything

25-05-2013 till 16-07-2013

Hisaji Hara | Hisaji Hara | A Photographic Portrayal of the Paintings of Balthus

23-03-2013 till 11-05-2013

Arco 2013

13-02-2013 till 17-02-2013

Chen Nong | Chen Nong | Climbing To Moon

29-09-2012 till 31-12-2012

Pulse Miami Contemporary Art Fair

06-12-2012 till 09-12-2012

Daido Moriyama | Daido Moriyama | Journey For Something

19-05-2012 till 28-07-2012

Marcus Harvey | Marcus Harvey | Glass Paintings

07-04-2012 till 16-05-2012

Arco Madrid 2012

15-02-2012 till 19-02-2012

Roger Ballen | Roger Ballen | Animal Abstraction

12-11-2011 till 10-12-2011

Harland Miller | Harland Miller | Rocky 6

09-07-2011 till 13-09-2011

Moby | ‘Destroyed’ – Booksigning and Exhibition

31-05-2011 till 16-06-2011

| John Copeland | Times of Grace

27-11-2010 till 15-02-2011

Andrew Moore | Andrew Moore | Making History

10-04-2010 till 07-06-2010

Harland Miller | Harland Miller | I’ll Never Forget What I Can’t Remember

18-09-2010 till 09-11-2010

| Kristen as seen by Miles Aldridge and Chantal Joffe

14-03-2010 till 07-06-2010

Alla Esipovich | No Comment

15-01-2010 till 13-03-2010

Contemporary and Vintage Photography

26-09-2009 till 28-11-2009

David Lachapelle | David LaChapelle | The Rape of Africa

06-06-2009 till 31-07-2009

Bill Owens | Bill Owens | Riots & New Suburbia

28-02-2009 till 04-04-2009

Miles Aldridge | Miles Aldridge | Acid Candy

03-05-2008 till 05-07-2008