Nobuyoshi Araki

Jablonka Galerie

Whether they depict women as fully clothed, showing their breasts, or posing on sofas allowing the viewer to glimpse their vaginas, friends, or adolescent girls with innocent-looking faces, Nobuyoshi Araki’s photographs are sexual. This intense sexuality even characterizes his Tokyo cityscapes, the views of back courtyards, intersections, and landscapes with trees or cloudy skies.

Though years ago Araki wanted to break sexual taboos with his work, he also wanted to provoke a confrontation with the officials charged with protecting public order, which he actually succeeded in doing several times. As a result of all this controversy, he became one of the best-known artists in Japan and his books sell well. Araki’s near-cultish status is due to more than scandal, however. The gaze with which he captures his subjects is the gaze of someone at the very moment of most intense sexual desire—the

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the November 1994 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.