Dirty pretty things: Nobuyoshi Araki has been called a monster, a pornographer and a genius – and the photographer quite agrees.
Araki’s art overflows with life, and his life is awash in images. They are good, bad, indifferent; posed, random, accidental; prurient, erotic, anarchistic, touching, vulgar, lascivious, lurid, sentimental. The cumulative effect is overwhelming.
His mischievous and wanton energies, his scurrilous, libidinous images are driven by subjectivity and desire; so too are those images that go to the bone of bereavement, nostalgia and loneliness, their pathos being all the more affecting for being set at the heart, as it were, of a body of work – not to mention a work of bodies – full to the brim with life’s pleasures and excesses.