Nobuyoshi Araki

Nobuyoshi Araki born in Tokyo 1940. He is Japan's best-known photographer and its most controversial cultural export. Documenting Tokyo he captures its obscene energy and inhuman emptiness in the sex clubs and entertainment district, crowded streets, buildings and skies. His work is infused with an intense sexuality. He has been widely accused by feminist groups of being a misogynist because of the content of many of his photographs.

Araki studied photography during his college years and then went to work at Dentsu (a Japanese advertising agency) where he also met his wife Yoko. After they were married, Araki published a book of pictures of his wife taken during their honeymoon entitled "Sentimental Journey". She died in 1990 of ovarian cancer. Pictures taken during her last days were published in a book entitled "Winter Journey".

Araki is probably best known for his photos documenting the Japanese sex industry, focusing on the Kabukicho district of Shinjuku in Tokyo in the 1980s. These were later published in "Tokyo Lucky Hole."

Having published over 350 books (and still more every year) Araki is considered one of the most prolific artists alive or dead in Japan and around the world. Some of his most popular photography books are "Sentimental Journey", "Tokyo Lucky Hole" (both described above), and "Shino". He has also photographed for many pornographic magazines such as Playboy, DejA-Vu, and Erotic Housewives. He has been arrested several times for breaking Japanese obscenity laws, and the curator of a museum was once arrested for displaying Araki's work. He has never faced jail time or serious fines, however.

The musician Bjork is an admirer of Araki's work, and at her request Araki photographed the cover of her remix album, Telegram. Araki's life and work were the subject of Travis Klose's 2005 documentary film Arakimentari.

1963 Graduates from the Department of Engineering at Chiba University; majored in Photography and Film Making. Lives and works in Tokyo. Notable exhibitions; 1994 solo exhibit at White Cube, London; 1999 solo exhibit at Museum Of Contemporary Art, Tokyo.

Famously quoted as saying "I would say my sex drive is weaker than most. However, my lens has a permanent erection."

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