Nobuyoshi Araki: EroReal

Keeping up with what has already become a good tradition, Taka Ishii opened an exhibition of Nobuyoshi Araki's latest works, EroReal, on the photographer's birthday. Backed by his house band, Pathos, Araki showered a crowd of his die-hard fans and art tourists with jokes and unique insights into his work, interrupted briefly by a slideshow consisted of beautiful light painting photographs, and the birthday cake, decorated with one of the master’s works.

Just as the title suggests, EroReal is Araki at what he does best—nudes, bondage, toys and flowers shot in deliberately quick, loose manner. It's good to see him get his mojo back after a long hiatus, but there seemed to be a hardly visible cloud of defeat hanging over his head as he enthusiastically sprang around during the reception. As fresh as Araki looks, he’s no longer a horny ball of energy he once was, and the devil couldn’t care less image he has mastered over the years is visibly harder to maintain. He might have been happier with abstract photography and casual Moriyama-esque street snapshots, if the public were more supportive of his experiments, but the public want Araki they know and Araki needs praise. As if to illustrate it he suddenly went still during the slideshow—that moment, he looked content and at peace with himself. Through June 22nd.

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